After a nine hour special session intended to finally repeal the controversial, discriminatory and extremely shitty”bathroom bill,” North Carolina legislators failed in their task to repeal the stupid thing once and for all.
The failure to repeal HB2, which states that people must use the restrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificate regardless of their gender identity, was the result of partisan bickering, the Washington Post reports. In a state whose terrible governor refused to concede an election he clearly lost, this does not bode well.
The New York Times points to Republican lawmakers arguing with Democrats over the details of an anti-discrimination ordinance passed in Charlotte in February which included language that protected gender identity. Instead of doing away with the language outright, Charlotte leaders kept in “certain provisions, including a part of the ordinance that empowered Charlotte’s community relations committee to ‘approve or disapprove plans to reduce or eliminate discrimination’ with respect to familial status, gender expression, gender identity, marital status and sexual orientation.” After hours of disagreement, the Senate rejected a bill to repeal the law. The House adjourned until after the new year, leaving the bill in place.
Lawmakers on both sides of the issue placed blame on the other. In a statement, Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger blamed Democrats saying “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.”
HB2 was rushed through the House in March, effectively costing the state millions of dollars in lost tourism revenue as various organizations pulled out of their engagements in the state. In April, Bruce Springsteen cancelled his tour stop as a result of the law. PayPal was set to open an operations center in Charlotte, bringing 400 jobs to the area, and cancelled their plans to do so in its wake. In May, the Charlotte Observer reported that tourism boards for popular vacation destinations like the Outer Banks were receiving emails from visitors who decided that their money and leisure time would be better spent elsewhere.
As the House is adjourned until the New Year, it looks like they’ll pick this back up in 2017. Hopefully it goes a little better the second time around.