On Thursday, two bills were introduced in the North Carolina House which would repeal HB 2.
But neither bill is a clean repeal of HB 2. "We did this twice last year," stated Senator Mike Woodard, Democrat from Durham County. Both efforts failed. This year, Woodard says, "I’m even prouder to say that we’re offering a non-discrimination bill that would cover our entire state."
The bills would expand North Carolina’s current list of protected classes to include things like familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status.
And they would not just repeal HB 2, they would make it statewide policy to allow anyone to use any public bathroom or locker room based on their gender identity.
And that’s not all.
It would bar discrimination of the new protected classes in employment, insurance, housing and lending, as well as barring charter and non-public schools from discriminating in enrollment and school policies.
There is a religious exemption clause to allow parochial schools to still use religion as a requirement for enrollment. And fully private institutions and businesses can still set their bathroom policy as they like.
Now, here is where the two bills differ.
House Bill 78, has an extra section, which increase the minimum sentence by 3 to 7 years for any sexual crime committed in a bathroom or changing facility.
Representative Cecil Brockman of High Point says he felt the need to file a separate bill in hopes that some Republican members of the General Assembly will see it as something of a compromise. "We added this language in there hoping that they could come to the table and at least start negotiating with us on how we can repeal HB 2, which has been an absolute disaster for our state."
GOP leaders have called for the need for a compromise in order to repeal HB 2. And Brockman says he has heard some positive reaction from republican lawmakers. However he adds none have wanted to go on the record with support for his bill as of yet.