Roy Cooper, North Carolina's Democratic
governor, on Thursday signed a compromise deal to repeal House Bill
2, despite loud objections from LGBT advocates.
Announced late Wednesday, the bill
sailed through the Senate (32-16) and House (70-48) and was headed to
Cooper's desk by mid-afternoon Thursday.
Cooper, who campaigned on a pledge to
repeal House Bill 2, announced at a news conference that he had
signed the bill, saying that it was “the best deal we could get.”
“In a perfect world, we would have
repealed HB2 today and added full statewide protections for LGBT
North Carolinians,” Cooper said. “Unfortunately, our
supermajority Republican legislature will not pass these protections.
But this is an important goal that I will keep fighting for.”
House Bill 2 was approved last year
during a one-day special session. It blocks cities from enacting
LGBT protections and prohibits transgender people from using the
bathroom of their choice.
The compromise bill approved Thursday,
House Bill 142, repeals House Bill 2, but it also leaves bathroom
regulation to the state and enacts a moratorium on local LGBT
ordinances until December 1, 2020.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), bristled at Cooper's suggestion that the law
had been repealed.
“.@RoyCooperNC taking credit for
repealing #HB2. He did no such thing. Instead he signed [a] new
version of #HB2 and betrayed [a] campaign promise,” Griffin tweeted
soon after Cooper's announcement.
Lawmakers were facing a Thursday
deadline from the NCAA to repeal House Bill 2. The NCAA had said
that North Carolina would lose championship events through 2022 if
the law was not repealed. NCAA President Mark Emmert said that a
decision on whether the new law meets that requirement will come next