Going into a special legislative session on Wednesday, Republican and Democrat lawmakers in North Carolina thought they had a deal in place to repeal the controversial HB2 law – known colloquially as the “bathroom bill.” The law, which prevents cities from enacting anti-discrimination ordinances that defy state law, has created cultural and economic upheaval in the wake of an LGBT backlash.
As it turned out however, lawmakers could not manage to agree on a repeal bill that would satisfy both sides. After a nine hour session, legislators adjourned the special session, leaving the HB2 law in place.
Signed by Gov. Pat McCrory in March, the law prohibits North Carolinians from using public bathrooms that don’t match their biological sex. The bill came about as a result of a Charlotte city ordinance that compelled government facilities to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice. Republicans said the Charlotte ordinance violated state law, endangered women and children, and eroded cultural norms.
Once passed, the law became a target for leftist organizations around the country, from LGBT groups to the Obama administration. In a firestorm of controversy, businesses like the NBA, Paypal, and others chose to punish the state by canceling events and pulling out of planned expansions.
Following the election of Democrat Roy Cooper to replace McCrory as governor, Republicans and Democrats made an agreement with the city of Charlotte. Charlotte would repeal their anti-discrimination ordinance and the legislature would repeal HB2. Charlotte came through with their end of the deal on Monday, but state lawmakers couldn’t make their own repeal happen.
Republican Senator Phil Berger said the failed vote was an indication that Democrats were never interested in compromise.
“Their action proves they only wanted a repeal in order to force radical social engineering and shared bathrooms across North Carolina, at the expense of our state’s families, our reputation and our economy,” Berger said.
Indeed, that’s what it’s been about from the beginning. Democrats don’t suddenly care deeply about where transgenders go to the bathroom. This is a non-issue. It has only become a nationwide controversy because the left sees yet another way for them to chop away at traditional conservative values and marginalize anyone who still believes in them.