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?”
“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.”
“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?