Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Change Discriminatory Bathroom Bill for LGBT Community
Feb 24, 2017 01:56 PM EST
Republicans in the North Carolina House of Representatives filed new legislation that aims to integrate several changes to the House Bill 2, widely known as the “bathroom bill.” The goal of the House Bill 186 is to completely repeal the HB2 and bring the state’s non-discrimination laws up-to-date.
State colleges and universities will be given the option to expand their non-discrimination policies beyond those that are proposed in the bill. Sponsors of the bipartisan bill include Republican representatives Chuck McGrady and Ted Davis Jr. together with Democratic representatives Ken Goodman and Marvin W. Lucas.
In an interview with the WBTV, McGrady admitted that convincing the two Democrats to serve as the bill’s co-sponsors had been a “critical” move. "This is the first bipartisan bill of this type. We've had bills introduced in the past and its all the Republicans or all the Democrats," he said. "This is the first time we have a bill that Republicans and Democrats - at least some of us - can come together on."
HB186 puts together a number of elements drawn out from the Democratic-sponsored legislation, including the reinforcement of criminal penalties for sexual assaults as well as anti-discrimination policies for employment, housing and educational systems. On the other hand, the bill proposes that the General Assembly holds the sole power in regulating access to public facilities, such as restrooms, showers and locker rooms expect those that are being managed directly by the city.
This new bipartisan bill was put forward on the same day that President Donald Trump’s administration made the official announcement of lifting federal guidelines set by the Obama administration. These previous regulations stated that transgender students should be given permission to use public facilities of the gender with which they identify.
According to Trump, it would be better for states and local school districts to ascertain the ways with which sex-discrimination law can be applied to gender identity. As for the bipartisan bill, it states that individuals should not experience discrimination because of “genetic information”; gender identity and sexual orientation were not mentioned.
The new legislation came up weeks after Republicans discussed possible approaches to addressing HB2’s negative impact on organizations such as the NBA and NCAA. These leagues announced their cancellation of major sporting events, pulling their games from Charlotte in 2016 when the bathroom bill was passed and efforts to repeal such law failed.