Calling it a “repeal,” Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 142 into law Thursday.
The swiftly-drafted compromise bill, crafted to repeal House Bill 2, cleared the Senate and the House by mid-afternoon.
“We are a welcoming state – our people are welcoming – but House Bill 2 was not,” Cooper said at a news conference. “Today, our laws are catching up with our people.”
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HB142 initially dealt with occupational licensing boards, but was gutted and replaced with language repealing HB2. However, it was not a clean repeal in that it states that only the General Assembly can regulate access to multiple-occupancy bathrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities. It also prohibits local governments from enacting or amending ordinances regulating private employment practices or public accommodations until Dec. 1, 2020.
Cooper boasted that he stopped Republicans from imposing more stringent, permanent restrictions on the LGBTQ community, such as religious freedom provisions. “I made clear I was not going to support those provisions and they didn’t happen,” Cooper said, calling it the “best deal that we could get.”
The governor told reporters the impetus for signing the law Thursday was pressure from the NCAA which is scheduling games through 2022 and vowed to not consider North Carolina for tournaments without a repeal of HB2.