Much to the chagrin of LBGTQ groups, the National Collegiate Athletic Association removed its boycott of North Carolina as a venue for hosting championship games.
Until Tuesday the NCAA remained quiet about whether or not it would allow NC to regain permission to host the games.
The Tar Heel state lost its privilege as a destination for games in 2016 when it decreed under the law HB2 that all people, including transgenders, have to use bathrooms corresponding to their biological gender as indicated on their birth certificate. Many advocates for transgender rights believe the repeal of HB2, and replacing it with HB142, does not go far enough to protect the rights of transexuals.
The new law essentially restores the status quo prior to HB2. However, HB-142 prohibits government entities from creating laws that pertain to multiple-occupancy bathrooms, showers, and changing rooms unless it’s “in accordance with an act of the General Assembly.” The new law only applies until December 1, 2020.
According to The Washington Times, the NCAA called HB142 “far from perfect,” but “meets the minimal NCAA requirements,” therefore allowing them to lift the boycott of championship games.
“We are actively determining site selections, and this new law has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment,” the NCAA said in a statement. “If we find that our expectations of a discrimination-free environment are not met, we will not hesitate to take necessary action at any time.”
Pro-LGBT advocacy groups were not happy with the NCAA’s decision. “What a sell-out,” Lambda Legal tweeted, after hearing the news. “The NCAA’s decision to backtrack on their vow to protect LGBTQ players, employees and fans is deeply disappointing and puts people at risk.”
Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign responded, “After drawing a line in the sand and calling for repeal of HB2, the NCAA simply let North Carolina lawmakers off the hook.”
So far the NBA has not stated whether HB142 meets their minimum standards for holding all-star games in NC in the future. In February, the NBA relocated its All-Star Weekend, which was scheduled for Charlotte, and moved it to New Orleans as a protest to HB2.