GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina lawmakers have a new proposal on the table to amend controversial House Bill 2.
House Bill 186 is a bipartisan bill which would roll back large parts of HB2, but not all of it.
It would expand a statewide nondiscrimination law, bringing it in line with the federal standard. It would make pregnant women and military veterans protected classes, but not LGBT individuals. Cities wouldn’t be able to regulate bathrooms with multiple toilets or locker rooms. Only the legislature could set those rules. Cities would, however, get the ability to pass nondiscrimination ordinances including the LGBT community. Once passed though, those laws wouldn’t take effect for 90 days, giving opponents the chance to gather signatures and force a referendum.
“I think it’s a terrible idea to put a minority’s rights on a referendum. All this does is say we’re going to have many house bill two debates all across the state,” said Democratic Representative Darren Jackson of Wake County.
Sponsors of the bill say they’ve worked across the aisle for nearly ten months to come up with the compromise, while others question if it’s the best solution.
“I’ve got a lot of colleagues, republican and democratic colleagues, who want a fix and the problem is they don’t know what that fix looks like and we didn’t really have form to figure out what that middle is,” said Republican Representative Chuck McGrady of Henderson.
“We all know it’s going to have to be some compromise, some give and take. Whether this bill represents the right compromise is yet to be determined,” said Democratic Senator Floyd McKissick of Durham.
LGBT advocates say only a full repeal will do, but some say the votes aren’t there to accomplish that.
One of the bill’s sponsors admitted he hasn’t spoken with the NCAA or NBA, so it’s unclear if this compromise would bring back the sporting events North Carolina has lost.