US lawmakers reach deal to repeal transgender bathroom law
Washington, March 30: US lawmakers announced an agreement to repeal a controversial North Carolina state law that curbs legal protections for the LGBT people and sets rules that affect transgender access to public bathrooms, the media reported.
Republicans Phil Berger, the Senate leader, and Tim Moore, the House speaker, announced late Wednesday that they had reached the agreement with the state's new Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, the New York Times reported.
A bill repealing House Bill 2, which the legislature will consider on Thursday, was signed March 2016 by former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican.
One of the most contentious measures of the bill requires transgender people in public buildings to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate.
"Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy," Berger and Moore said in a joint statement.
"I support the House Bill 2 repeal compromise that will be introduced tomorrow (Thursday)," Cooper said.
"It's not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation," the New York Times quoted the Governor as saying. However, gay rights advocates raised objections, arguing that the agreement would continue to allow discrimination.
Chris Sgro, Executive Director of the gay rights group Equality North Carolina, said that the proposal "keeps North Carolina as the only state in the country obsessed with where trans people use the restroom through law."
The announcement on Wednesday came after months of acrimony over the bill and a seeming inability to find middle ground after numerous efforts.
Conservative legislators, citing safety concerns, have been worried about the idea of men using women's restrooms since the Charlotte city government, in February 2016, passed an ordinance that allowed transgender people to use the restroom of their choice, the daily said.
Charlotte officials repealed that ordinance in December as part of the efforts to broker a compromise in the state capital, but that effort failed dramatically during a special legislative session.