Commentary

Editorials: So-called repeal of HB2 doesn’t get the job done

The editorial pages of two major newspapers added their names this morning to the long and growing list of critics of the so-called repeal legislation for HB2 that was introduced in the state House this week.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer

“Opinions are flying about [the proposal] but here are the facts:

  • It provides no protections for LGBT citizens.
  • It bans cities from passing “bathroom” provisions of any kind.
  • It allows cities to pass LGBT protections (minus bathrooms), with 30 days notice, but such ordinances would then be put to a public vote if opponents round up enough signatures.
  • It expands protected classes for employment and housing discrimination, but that expansion does not include LGBT citizens.

In summary, if this bill becomes law, LGBT discrimination will be legal. People who look like men would be required to use the women’s room. And LGBT minority rights will be at the mercy of a majority vote. Basic human rights should not be up for a vote.

That’s why we doubt it would bring back the NCAA, the ACC, the NBA and others who are crossing the state off their lists. Those organizations have said they don’t want to do business in a state that sanctions LGBT discrimination. North Carolina still would.”

And here’s the Fayetteville Observer:

“It’s heartening to see a bipartisan group of state representatives sponsor a bill to repeal the state’s “bathroom bill,” HB2. Unfortunately, bipartisanship is the best thing it has going for it….

The measure would give the state regulatory authority over bathrooms with multiple toilets and locker rooms. It would expand a statewide nondiscrimination law, but still exclude protection for sexual orientation or identity.

And while the measure would allow cities to pass anti-discrimination ordinances that cover LGBT people, they would be required to hold a referendum if opponents gathered enough signatures. Submitting civil rights to a popular vote is not a wise precedent. Nobody should have to face discrimination because of who or what they are, and it’s regrettable that this state won’t stand up for that principle.

We hope members of both parties continue to seek ways to repeal this destructive law, but we’re beginning to believe that in the end, federal courts will settle it.”

“A bipartisan group of lawmakers has put forth a modification of HB2, House Bill 186. Though the measure would repeal HB2, it would still make it too difficult for local governments to install anti-discrimination ordinances and would not include sexual orientation and gender identity in a statewide nondiscrimination law. This law may be better than HB2, but is far from an outright repeal, which is what is needed.”

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