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NC Tries to Revise Transgender Bathroom Bill

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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North Carolina state lawmakers announced Tuesday that they would be making changes to North Carolina’s “transgender bathroom bill,” amidst lobbying and boycotts from the NBA and businesses nation wide.

North Carolina state officials said that they were in the process of revising North Carolina’s House Bill 2, reports the Charlotte Observer. A major part of House Bill 2, passed to overturn a local city ordinance, said that people must use the bathroom according to their biological sex.

The new revisions to HB2 do not change the bill’s original stance on transgenders using the bathroom according to their “gender identity.” People can only access that bathroom that corresponds to their biological sex. Under the new revisions, North Carolina would use federal anti-discrimination standards when deciding cases. Previously, HB2 had its own standards for determining discrimination.

Because the new revisions do not repeal the original HB2 bathroom standard, critics have redoubled calls for a complete repeal of the bill, reports WBTV.

“Just a few minutes ago we got word that a backroom deal is being cooked up by Republican leaders in the House and Senate that still discriminates against transgender North Carolinians and does nothing to restore the common sense protections passed by the Charlotte City Council earlier this year,” Representative Chris Sgro said in a statement.

A crucial revision to HB2 creates a “certificate of sex reassignment” that shows proof of a person’s sexual assignment surgery  and effectively, their change to the opposite sex. Harsher penalties are enacted under the revisions for people committing crimes in a bathroom. It also makes an “anti-discrimination task force”, to figure out discrimination under the law in North Carolina.

Opponents of the revisions say that they support the original version because it best speaks for the will of the North Carolina people.

“We’d be opposed to any changes in the bill. We believe the people of North Carolina have already spoken through their elected representatives.”said Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the N.C. Values Coalition.

Recently, the NBA told North Carolina that it would not host its 2017 All-Star Game if HB2 was still a law in the state. Celebrities and businesses have also refused to do business in the state because of HB2.
“It’s a juggling act. We’re trying to do right by everybody.” said GOP Rep. Charles Jeter of Huntersville to the Charlotte Observer.
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