This is so sad.
On Friday, North Carolina lawmakers in the state’s General Assembly had the ability to change up HB 2 — the bill that stoked nationwide outrage over its discriminatory nature towards transgender individuals.
But unfortunately, the legislators left the bill largely intact, choosing only to make one very minor revision to the measure and leaving it as bigoted and short-sighted as it’s been in the past.
The change — voting to restore workers’ rights to use state laws to sue over employment discrimination — won’t enhance workplace protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It also doesn’t affect other provisions that are being blasted by gay rights advocates, business leaders, and more.
No provisions were made surrounding the state’s requirement that transgender individuals use the public bathrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates, nor were there any changes to the danger that people can still be legally discriminated against in North Carolina based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
The revisions now go to the desk of Governor Pat McCrory, who initially demanded the change and now must sign it into law.
Democrats across the state were incensed at McCrory and the Republican-led legislature for this, with Rep. Grier Martin saying:
“This was the lowest of the low hanging fruit. It does nothing to fix the core discrimination in that law.”
Rep. Chris Sgro of Guilford County — the only openly gay member of North Carolina’s General Assembly — added:
“While this is important, it doesn’t’ go nearly far enough. It will be an incredible disappointment, not just to me, not just to the gay and transgender community, but to all of us as North Carolinian. I am certain that if this legislature is not able to get HB2 repealed and we start to have things happen like losing the [NBA] All-Star game, and losing more businesses, there will be deep consequences for members of this legislature and the governor come November.”
Regarding that last part, we can only hope.
[Image via Seb/WENN.]