Commentary

Two contrasting, progressive takes on HB 2.0 – What’s your opinion?

Raleigh’s News & Observer offers two sincere, well-argued and contrasting views this morning on yesterday’s HB2 repeal/compromise — a new law that many are referring to as HB2.0. In the “grudgingly pro” camp is the paper’s lead editorial “On HB2, a bitter but needed deal.” On the “unsatisfied/frustrated” side is, once again, the paper’s excellent lead sportswriter, Luke DeCock. His column is entitled “HB2 compromise may save basketball, but at what cost?”

Here’s DeCock:

“You think basketball recruiting is dirty? (It is.) North Carolina politics makes basketball recruiting look like a bake sale.

Thursday’s partial repeal of House Bill 2 may have done just enough to satisfy the NCAA and save basketball, but that’s about all….

There are real people, real lives, hurt by HB2 far more than basketball fans. This inadequate, necessary replacement for a stupid, unnecessary law – repealing HB2 itself but extending restrictions on local anti-discrimination laws through 2020 – helps the latter far more than the former.

It’s hard to celebrate fending off disaster with the NCAA when North Carolina remains one of the least welcoming and inclusive states in the nation. But Cooper said House Bill 142 allows employers and organizations like the NCAA and ACC to demand whatever LGBT protections they desire from arenas and from contractors, which HB2 prohibited….

In the end, everyone should save some face. The NCAA gets enough political cover to come back to North Carolina, a profitable partner for that organization. Cooper gets to declare victory on repeal, even if large portions of his constituency are outraged by the terms. The Republican majority accepts defeat on HB2 itself but extends the moratorium on local anti-discrimination laws from the six months originally proposed in December all the way out to 2020.

The worst parts of HB2 may be gone. We’re told this is better than nothing, and of course it is, yet that’s such a low bar to clear. The terrible, bitter taste of our state-sanctioned bigotry remains, even if it’s fainter than it was.”

And this is from the editorial:

“There’s no satisfaction in a deal on a discriminatory law that leaves the targets of discrimination feeling unheard and unprotected.

But this compromise was needed and, given the fear-mongering on one side and the outrage on the other, it was inevitable that any agreement would bring objections from both sides. Cooper made the deal he needed to make with Republicans. The state, already battered by the HB2 fallout was going to lose more business. And the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference had made it clear that there would be no more championships played in North Carolina as long as HB2 existed….

Make no mistake. Thanks to a hasty (one day) action to pass HB2 to overturn a Charlotte ordinance allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms of the gender with which they identify — something they’d been doing for decades anyway — North Carolina suffered huge casualties. This was a national embarrassment, courtesy of Republican leaders in the General Assembly amateurishly flexing their muscle to please their hard-right base.

Cooper might have let them continue to twist in the wind, considering that he won the governorship despite Donald Trump carrying North Carolina and McCrory’s incumbency, but he did the right thing. The state’s best interest won out. Thursday brought not a happy ending to HB2, but an ending nonetheless.”

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Was it a necessary compromise or a depressing sell-out?

7 Comments


  1. Ethel McGirt

    March 31, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Nothing Resolved, just postponed for the love of money. It is time to change how people use public restrooms. I hate this argument that shames citizens and has caused the loss of billions to the poor who need money. I prefer that we as a state remove the signs from bathrooms (Women/Men, Roosters/Hens, Ladies/Gents, etc.). I prefer that stalls, that are designed for one occupant, would have walls from ceiling to floor, and real door lock, vent, fan, light, and trash bin. No outside wall necessary to cover lockable doors so all could see who goes in and out, and handwashing sinks for all would be a public experience as well. Finally, security cameras would be posted towards the doors. This concept is not new, it is comparable to Port-A-Potties–Indoors where anyone uses them without regard to gender or age. The conversion would cost less than the money we have lost from hosting sporting events; women and children would feel secure and have privacy; transgender persons would use them like all others, and the same plumbing lines and commodes can remain in most buildings as is. I feel there should be baby changing tables but also in the open with a short wall around them so Passer Byers can see the adult attending the child. Forget all the legal rhetoric and just do something that makes sense to common folk to resolves problems cited beyond political talking points. This is not a total solution but it is a good start that leads to long lasting solutions. A similar idea is proposed for showers.
    Deal with employee rights, regulations, minimum wage, child labor, etc. separately and in the open like courageous men and women.

  2. Jim Henninger

    March 31, 2017 at 11:37 am

    I’m with Governor Cooper on this one. It certainly was a “hold your nose and vote, ‘yes'” choice. Clean repeal of HB2 was NOT going to happen. Furthermore, I believe there would have been significant backlash against the LGBT community had Dems voted the compromise down. Spin would be that failure to repeal HB2 was fault of liberals and LGBTs.

  3. Caryl Brt

    March 31, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    I don’t see how the word “compromise” comes within miles of describing this travesty. I feel totally betrayed by Governor Cooper. Whose side is he on?

    Essentially the republicans won.

    Could someone PLEASE tell me how this changes anything except that sports and companies can now feel as if they can come back to do business in our state.

  4. Nancy Sloop

    March 31, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I feel this is so far from what a true compromise is you need field glasses to see it. I feel like the nasty bigots realized they could mess with business, mess with tourism, mess with people’s lives, but STEP THE HELL BACK when it comes to basketball! Shame on us for thinking freaking basketball is more important than people’s lives. Shame. On. Us.

  5. Lewis

    March 31, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I don’t get what people wanted Cooper to do- he has a Republican supermajority that can, and does, walk all over him, as well as wanting to resist anything he does. If he did veto, then they’d been even more finger pointing and distrust. THERE IS NO CHANCE THAT HB2 WOULD BE REPEALED IN FULL until 2019 if Dems win back the GA. This was a step forward, and start. Yes it was not the best deal by any stretch of the imagination, in fact it’s pretty bad; but between HB142 and HB2, I’d take HB142.

  6. MARK

    March 31, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Depressing sellout seems too strong, since Cooper does not have a long track record as a LGBT advocate. Real question is what else he does to earn respect from progressives. If he does little or nothing he and the Dems who voted will not get the enthusiastic support they need come the next election.

  7. Galia Goodman

    April 3, 2017 at 10:03 am

    I heard Cooper, Jackson, and Meyer and I have to say that as a sixty-six year old white married lesbian, I am sad, but not surprised at the result. I think they are all right, and that they are all doing what they think is what is going to get us down the road. It is by no means a clean repeal. It is not great. I see why some say that we (LGBTQ folks) have been “thrown under the bus”. But I also have developed the ability to hold two, or even three opinions at the same time, and I think there were not very many options. I plan to get over my own personal disappointment and to work like hell to change the gerrymandering and to elect more Dems to the GA so we can get back to being a twenty-first century state instead of a nineteenth century one. I will also remind the Dems who voted yes that this is really not who we are, and to remember we are watching them. If they want our help, they will have some work to do.

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