Whether the new package of HB2 “amendments“ goes is still in question. In contrast to their normally robust rhetoric, GOP leaders have been tepid and subdued when discussing the proposals. It could be one of those ideas that arise to great fanfare, then drop like a lead balloon.
Let’s hope so.
The content of these amendments ranges from insufficient to actively troubling. It restores the right to file discrimination suits in state court: Congratulations, we’d become like 48 other states. By merely importing federal standards, it maintains the possibility that anti-LGBTQ discrimination will remain legal. The provisions on sex-crime punishments–while facially unobjectionable– in fact further the narrative that trans people are predators. It sends an insulting message and leaves the narrative in the NC Values Coaltion’s hands. Those reforms should be in an independent bill explicitly detached from the HB2 debate.
That a “fix” developed by GOP legislators is inadequate should come as no surprise. After all, these are the people who have engineered some of the worst anti-LGBTQ legislation in US history. They simply cannot be trusted to improve things. For that reason alone, LGBTQ rights advocates of all stripes (pun not intended but perhaps appropriate) should reject every Republican-drafted compromise and insist on Rep. Darren Jackson’s repeal bill. Homophobes don’t get to drive the train.
And it all comes down to this. There are some things you just do not compromise on. As long as the so-called “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act” remains active, the civil law of our state is soiled. Cleaning up a few nooks and crannies of HB2 will never suffice. Repeal is the only option.
Alexander Jones is an original contributor to PoliticsNC.