A legislative compromise watering down North Carolina’s “bathroom law” leaves access to public bathrooms muddier than ever, conservative opponents of the change say, and it removes the standard of privacy espoused last year by state officials.
“They’ve taken away that baseline of privacy that ensured that [use of] every multi-occupancy restroom, locker room, and shower in the state’s public buildings would be based on a person’s biological sex,” Kellie Fiedorek, counsel at the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Thursday.
This means, Fiedorek said, that a man won’t be arrested for entering a women’s restroom, unless someone decides to press charges.
“If a male wanted to use the females’ restroom, there’s nothing to really prevent him from doing that, unless someone finds him in there and they want to file a trespass action,” she said.
The state Senate passed the bill Thursday by a vote of 32-16, and the House then passed it 70-48.
The deal, the work of Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, and the Republican leaders of the state Legislature, repeals the bathroom law, also known as House Bill 2.
That law, praised by some and assailed by others, required that individuals use restrooms and locker rooms in schools, public universities, and other government buildings that correspond with their biological sex.
The main provision of the bill reads:
State agencies, boards, offices, departments, institutions, branches of government including the University of North Carolina and the North Carolina Community College System, and political subdivisions of the state, including local boards of education, are preempted from regulation of access to multiple occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities, except in accordance with an act of the General Assembly.
Advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans had labeled the law as hateful and encouraged businesses and tourists to boycott North Carolina as a result.
The state’s Republican governor, Pat McCrory, lost re-election to Cooper by a close margin in November, conceding four weeks later, after signing the bathroom bill into law in March 2016.
Cooper hailed the deal to repeal the law.
“l support the House Bill 2 repeal compromise,” Cooper said. “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation.”
The bill prevents any local government from adopting or amending an existing law regulating employment practices and public accommodations until Dec. 1, 2020, Fiedorek noted.
Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, helped craft the deal.
“Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy,” Berger and Moore said in a joint statement.
U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said he approved of the repeal. In a prepared statement, Tillis said:
North Carolina’s brand and continued economic prosperity should not be beholden to the loudest voices on either the far left or the far right who don’t have our state’s best interests in mind. I’m glad that state lawmakers were able to reach a commonsense compromise to repeal House Bill 2.
Democrat lawmakers opposing the measure for not going far enough to protect transgender individuals included state Sens. Jay Chaudhuri of Raleigh; Mike Woodard and Floyd McKissick of Durham; Valerie Foushee of Hillsborough; Jeff Jackson of Charlotte; and Don Davis of Greenville, The News & Observer reported.
But Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that North Carolina lawmakers gave in to special interests.
“North Carolina’s political leaders caved to the demands of big business and special interests,” Ryan said, adding:
This is a prime example of what I have called ‘cultural cronyism‘—when the left can’t win on an issue through normal political persuasion, they get progressive big businesses to use their outsized market share to make economic threats to pressure the government to do their bidding—at the expense of the common good.
Jackson tweeted his reason for opposing the measure:
McKissick called the measure a “heartless compromise” and said he “couldn’t support it as a matter of philosophy and principle.”
The Human Rights Campaign, which advocates LGBT rights and calls itself “America’s largest civil rights organization,” called the legislative deal “dangerous”:
The organization also tweeted that lawmakers who supported the measure “betrayed” those who aren’t heterosexual:
The post Left and Right Unhappy With Repeal of North Carolina’s Bathroom Law appeared first on The Daily Signal.
Read more here: http://dailysignal.com/2017/03/30/left-and-right-unhappy-with-repeal-of-north-carolinas-bathroom-law/ by Rachel del Guidice Originally posted on http://dailysignal.com/