After briefly flirting with the idea of repealing the state’s most homophobic law, Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have decided that, actually, on second thought, never mind, they’re going to keep the law that cost them the governorship and millions and millions of dollars, sparked countless boycotts and lawsuits, and made them the laughing stock of America earlier this year.
HB2 (aka The Bathroom Bill), which was passed by state Republicans and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory back in March, voided all legal protections for LGBTQ people statewide and policed which bathrooms trans people were allowed to use. After it became law, a huge backlash ensued, and lawmakers have been scrambling to figure out how to deal with it ever since.
Well, this week they announced they were going to hold a one-day special session to finally repeal the law, but after more than nine hours of closed-door meetings yesterday, they were unable to figure out how to do so. Apparently simply hitting the “undo” button is challenging for some Republicans.
“We came here to solve a problem that apparently nobody had any clear idea as to how it was going to be solved,” Senator Daniel T. Blue Jr., the chamber’s Democratic leader, said after the meeting ended. “It’s one thing if, during the regular session, we waste time and do this kind of stuff.”
Apparently within the first few minutes of the meeting, Republican lawmakers attempted to declare the special session unconstitutional. When that didn’t work, they tried to adjourn early. When that didn’t work, they tried saying OK, OK, fine, they’ll repeal the law, but no new anti-discrimination ordinances expanding protections for LGBTQ people can be passed by any local governments. And when that didn’t work, everyone just threw their hands up and left.
In the end, nothing really changed. North Carolina still has its law banning non-discrimination ordinances. Transgender people must still use public bathrooms, locker rooms, et cetera of the gender on their birth certificate, and local municipalities are still forbidden from passing LGBTQ protections.