Watered Down NC ‘Bathroom Bill’ Not Good Enough for LGBT Groups

A gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathroom on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina
Sarah D. Davis / Getty

LGBTQ groups signaled to Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford not to get too excited about new legislation designed to upend North Carolina’s HB2 law, otherwise, known as the “bathroom law.”

The North Carolina law mandates that people use bathrooms according to their biological sex in public schools and government buildings.

Swofford, according to USA Today, hopes to bring back ACC tournament play to the Tar Heel State, if the state’s legislature enacts House Bill 186. The new bill would modify the existing “bathroom law” and allow individual NC cities to pass their own ordinances, which could include provisions for transgendered people.

Yet, this change is not inclusive enough, said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of the LGBT sports organization, Campus Pride.  “The ACC must stand for a full repeal of HB2,” he insisted. “If legislation is passed that resets the law as it was prior to HB2, it will present the opportunity to reopen the discussion with the ACC Council of Presidents regarding neutral site conference championships being in the state of North Carolina.”

Campus Pride initiated a petition to HB186 with an online letter directed at Swofford cautioning him from being, “fooled by this bait and switch tactic.” The letter demands that the ACC must not settle for anything less than a “FULL REPEAL.”

Hudson Taylor, executive director of Athlete Ally, another LGBTQ organization, agrees with Windmeyer. “If the repeal of HB2 does not meet that standard, and has some watered down (solution), then I really don’t think any sporting body will be fooled by a fake fix.”

An executive order by President Trump last week ended any federal protections for transgender students to use facilities based on gender identity. The administration adheres to the policy that it is up to the individual states to set their own rules on bathroom privacy laws.

In August of 2016 NBA commissioner, Adam Silver decided to move its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte because of HB2. Last week the game was played in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Smoothie King Center.


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