A Bittersweet Victory for Transgender Rights: HB2 Repealed

Museum manager Jeff Bell adheres informative backing to gender-neutral signs in the 21C Museum Hotel public restrooms on May 10, 2016, in Durham, North Carolina. PHOTO CREDITS: Getty Images via CNBC

Earlier this week, the state government of North Carolina came to a compromise to repeal House Bill 2 (also known as HB2 or #BathroomBill). This law required transgender people to use public bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificate (instead of their gender identity) and also blocked local governments indefinitely from passing anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBTQ citizens. Looking on the bright side, this week’s deal will allow transgender people to use restrooms that match their gender identity, which is a huge win for over 15,000 transgender students in public schools across North Carolina. Also, instead of blocking local anti-discrimination laws indefinitely, the compromise limits this block until 2020.   There are many critics of this deal on both sides, and the NC Governor admitted it is not perfect and there’s still much work to be done to protect LGBTQ residents.  

  The NC government was moved to action due to intense economic pressure and the threat of losing out on hosting future athletic championships. In a recent study by the Associated Press, it was estimated that HB2 would cost North Carolina nearly $4 billion over the next 12 years due to lost revenue. Many businesses and organizations have been boycotting the state in protest of HB2. For the past six months, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) had banned North Carolina from hosting championship events. After the recent repeal, the NCAA “reluctantly” lifted its ban, saying that the deal had “minimally” created a non-discriminatory environment where athletic championships could be held.   For now, at least we can all pee in peace as we work towards further justice and protection for the LGBTQ community.  

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