Lawmakers struck what they heralded as a breakthrough deal late Wednesday with a proposal to repeal North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill.”
The original legislation passed last year prohibits transgender people from using public bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity, and sparked a huge political and financial backlash.
The proposed reversal — which will be debated and voted on Thursday — has incensed gay-rights activists, who want nothing short of an unconditional repeal of the divisive House Bill 2.
This is because the new plan would not cancel out the legislation entirely but replace it with a new law. The new framework would give the state final say over multi-stall restrooms and ensure “women and girls should not have to share bathrooms with men,” according to its backers.
Unimpressed, activists alleged the proposal was “simply another version” of the old law, and was merely an attempt by officials to stop the financial hemorrhage sparked by its passing.
An Associated Press analysis this week found that the law will cost North Carolina more than $3.76 billion in lost business over the next 12 years. Numerous businesses, as well as music and sporting events, have spurned the state amid the furor.