Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Cooper signs HB2 ‘bathroom bill’ repeal after quick passage through House and Senate


Update: Governor Roy Cooper has signed HB 142, repealing HB2.

RALEIGH — The so-called ‘bathroom bill’ has cleared both houses of the General Assembly.

The repeal bill Phil Berger previewed Wednesday night as a compromise between Governor Roy Cooper, House Republicans and himself passed the Senate earlier in the afternoon on Thursday. House Bill 142 cleared the Senate 32-16, with senators from both parties voting against it.

The bill then passed the House, 70-48; it was opposed by twice as many Republicans (31) as Democrats (15). HB 142 will now go to Cooper’s desk to be signed.

Representative Holly Grange (R) reached out to Port City Daily to praise the bill’s passage.

“I am happy to have HB2 behind us. My constituents have told me for some time they wanted a way forward on repealing HB2, and they wanted to protect privacy rights for women and children,” Grange said. “This bipartisan bill addresses of of their concerns. HB 142 is a reset and allows our state to move forward out from under the cloud of HB2.”

Representative Deb Butler (D) was more reserved.

“I remain committed to full protection of LGBT people. However, I am quick to concede that this [HB142] is better than HB2,” Butler said.

Butler she could not vote for the repeal in good conscience because it was not a “full, clean repeal,” and did not extend explicit protection to LGBT and trans-people. Butler said she was prepared to “remain vigilant,” adding:

“I am not despondent, I am resolute. This isn’t what I wanted, this isn’t what Governor Cooper wanted,” Butler said. “But HB2 is gone. And Cooper looked me right in the eye and told me he was committed to statewide protection of LGBT people.”

It should be noted that HB 142 is not solely a repeal of HB2, as it included the following provision: “No local government in this State may enact or amend an ordinance regulating private employment practices or regulating public accommodations.”

This would prohibit the kind of action taken by Charlotte City Council, to provide protections for groups beyond what is offered by federal and state regulations. Port City Daily will update this story with any comment from local representatives.

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