Commentary

The opportunity to repeal HB2 is now fully available

Members of the North Carolina Senate could easily vote to repeal HB2, the state’s infamous, all-purpose LGBT discrimination bill, today if they had the slightest inclination to do so. The bill that would take such action was introduced yesterday. Here’s the full and simple text of Senate Bill 25:

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT REPEALING S.L. 2016-99 AND S.L. 2016-3.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. S.L. 2016-99 and S.L. 2016-3 are repealed.

SECTION 2. This act is effective when it becomes law. Any local ordinance, resolution, regulation, or policy enacted prior to March 23, 2016, is not abated or affected by S.L.  2016-3, and the local ordinance, resolution, regulation, or policy that would be valid but for the enactment of S.L. 2016-3 remains valid.

The bill is sponsored by Democratic Senators Jeff Jackson, Angela Bryant, Floyd McKissick, Valerie Foushee, Gladys Robinson and Joyce Waddell. Not surprisingly, it faces an uphill battle. This is from a story on WRAL.com:

Senate Democrats on Wednesday filed a “clean bill” to repeal House Bill 2, the controversial measure dealing with LGBT rights and the use of bathrooms by transgender individuals.

“This should be a top priority, and it really shouldn’t be a lot of work,” Sen.Jeff Jackson, D-Mecklenburg, said. “It’s obvious we need to repeal HB2. If we do, it’ll be the biggest economic development deal of the year.”

…Although Jackson did his best to exude optimism after filing the bill, in reality, it faces an uphill battle in the General Assembly. A December effort to repeal the measure ultimately collapsed amid accusations and counter accusations, and top Republican leaders say that any repeal effort this year would likely involve a compromise of some sort.

The “compromise,” of course involves opponents of this outrageous law agreeing to let it remain in effect for several more months so that local governments may not pass anti-discrimination ordinances. In other words, conservative leaders won’t go along with repealing the law because…they won’t go along with repealing the law. While they wouldn’t mind getting some good publicity and getting the national heat off their shoulders, they like the discriminatory law and what it does and have no intention of doing away with its noxious effects anytime soon.

Let’s hope North Carolinians and all Americans keep up the pressure. The bottom line, however, is that there are no more excuses on HB2. It could be repealed today if Republicans would only agree to allow a vote.

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