Activists, advocates and even some businesses took to social media to voice opposition to Thursday’s actions in the N.C. General Assembly that repealed the controversial House Bill 2 but replaced it with a new law that some say is unsatisfactory.
The new House Bill 142 takes the “bathroom” language – which made the state the subject of frequent ridicule – off the books, but the new law is drawing criticism of its own.
Advocacy groups on the left and right opposed the measure. Some of the most liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans voted against it in the legislature.
One of the sticking points: the law’s restrictions on anti-discrimination ordinances in cities and counties until 2020.
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Transgender activist and reality-television star Caitlyn Jenner was critical of the repeal on Twitter, calling it a “backroom deal” that was not a true repeal of the law.
Jenner also said the new law “orders NC cities to discriminate against LGBT people until at least 2020.”
The compromise measure wasn’t completed until late Wednesday, following days of behind-the-scenes negotiations between the Democratic governor and Republican leaders of the legislature, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger. Cooper said it was the best deal that could be reached and is important to repairing the state’s reputation. Berger said it would still protect safety and privacy in bathrooms.
The American Civil Liberties Union posted on social media that it disagrees with Cooper’s decision to agree to the repeal deal.
“There is no compromising on civil rights,” the group’s Facebook post said.
The N.C. Values Coalition, a supporter of HB2, accused legislators of bowing to pressure from the NCAA. The group also expressed concern that the vote would lead to women and girls “being harmed or frightened in a bathroom.”
Some businesses issued statements skeptical of the deal.
IBM Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre said the company opposed HB2 and welcomed its repeal. “But stronger local nondiscrimination laws should not be pre-empted,” she said.
Levi Strauss & Co. said it stands with advocacy groups the Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC urging lawmakers to reject the repeal and replacement of HB2.