Lawmakers: Bathroom provision stays, other sections of HB2 could change

Posted April 13

— Lawmakers said Wednesday that there's no chance they will repeal a provision of a new law that requires people to use the public bathroom that matches their birth gender, but they said other portions of the law could be tweaked.

A WRAL News poll released Tuesday found that 56 percent of likely North Carolina voters agree with the bathroom provision of House Bill 2, which was signed into law three weeks ago after a special one-day legislative session. Fifty-six percent also said that allowing a transgender person to use a women's bathroom poses a security risk to women and children.

"(It's) probably really a higher number, depending on how you ask the question," Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, said of support for the provision. "The bathroom ordinance, it needs to stand to keep men out of women's bathrooms."

Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, said the poll results are disappointing but not surprising.

"It seems like the proponents of the bill have been very successful in demonizing transgender men and women as sexual predators and pedophiles. I don’t think there’s any evidence to back that up," Jackson said. "(It) has been my experience that they just want to live life and be left alone and pose no threat to anyone."

Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, was among nine House Democrats to vote for the bill, and he said he agrees with the 76 percent response in the WRAL News poll that the law needs to be changed. Thirty-seven percent said they want it completely repealed, 20 percent said repeal everything but the bathroom provision and 19 percent said make other changes to it.

"On most of the things in your survey, on the fact that it’s probably doing some damage to the state, that we need to go back and revisit some of the other provisions, I’m pretty much down the line on those things," Goodman said. "A majority of the state wants to keep the bathroom provision that’s in the bill, and I think that’s a reasonable thing to do too. So, I probably follow the majority of the people."

"I think it needs to be repealed," Jackson said. "I think it’s hurting our state image, our state’s brand."

Sixty-one percent of people said in the poll that House Bill 2 has hurt North Carolina's image nationwide. Likewise, 61 percent said the law has hurt the state's ability to bring jobs to the state.

"I don’t know whether it’s hurting the state or not," Tucker said. "It seems to me that there’s a lot of double-speak and hypocrisy going on."

He cited PayPal, which canceled plans for a 400-person operations center in Charlotte but does business "in five countries that execute homosexuals," and the NBA, which doesn't allow men and women to compete with each other on the basketball court but is under pressure to move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte.

PayPal and other businesses have objected to portions of the law that exclude gays, lesbians and transgender people from protections against discrimination in employment and public housing and bar cities and counties from extending such protections on their own.

Gov. Pat McCrory issued an executive order Tuesday that extended employment discrimination protections to LGBT state workers, and he called on lawmakers to repeal a section of the law that eliminated the right of people to file employment discrimination lawsuits in state court.

"There may be a possibility of some consideration to place employment discrimination back into the state," Tucker said, adding that he doesn't believe the rules should revert to what they were before.

"I don’t believe that you need a three-year period to determine whether or not you’ve been discriminated against," he said. "In federal law, it’s 180 days. Possibly if the state matched that time period to follow suit, then that’s something I could certainly take a look at."

Jackson and Goodman blamed the speed with which House Bill 2 moved through the legislature for some of the problems with it.

"The bathroom provision was the overriding issue, and some of the other, the implications of the other provisions weren’t obvious when we’re sitting in the session," Goodman said. "We had no time to review the bill. We had no time to get feedback. So, there are some things that, after the fact, might need another look."

"We need to repeal House Bill 2, and if there are other things that we need to look at, we need to go back and do that at a more deliberate pace – hear the evidence, hear from both sides, read the language, know what we’re doing before we pass a bill and it gets signed in less than 12 hours," Jackson said.

Neither Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger nor House Speaker Tim Moore was available Wednesday to comment on the poll results, but a spokeswoman for Berger said in a statement, "An overwhelming majority of North Carolinians we've heard from support" House Bill 2.


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  • George Herbert Apr 14, 2016
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    Opponents of HB2 need to contact Phil Berger's office at 919-733-5708. Apparently only the supporters have been slapping him on the back for getting HB2 passed through so quickly.

  • Tripp Weiland Apr 14, 2016
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    Regarding school locker rooms, I can't remember anyone ever taking a shower at school after gym. After sports practice? Sure, but all those guys were on my team so its not like some strange predator would come in there unnoticed. I can only assume the same would hold true in the girls locker room.
    Obviously, the locker room at a public pool presents a different dynamic that would benefit from thoughtful consideration before legislation is pushed through. As far as locker rooms at the YMCA or Planet Fitness or wherever, those are private businesses and according to HB-2, they can formulate their own policies (which could allow TG to use the room that corresponds to their identity). So the only potential safety benefit would be at a PUBLIC pool or gym or a private business that creates a policy to keep LGBT separate. My guess is a business that does that would not be patronized by many LGBT anyway.

  • Tripp Weiland Apr 14, 2016
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    I am not sure if I even know any TG people so please excuse my ignorance. I am curious to know if there is any correlation to being transgendered and being homosexual. For example, if person is biologically female but identifies as male is there any evidence that the gender identity would be homosexual (i.e. attracted to other males).
    The reason I am curious, is if a biological female were attracted to men, is it likely she would identify as male? If the answer is no, then it seems likely that a biological female identifying as male would be attracted to females not men. Conversely, biological men identifying as female would likely be attracted to men.
    If this hypothesis holds true, then the TG lady in the ladies room is not interested in ladies and the TG man in the men's room is not interested in men. Does not seem like it gets much safer than that.

  • Tripp Weiland Apr 14, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Yes because school locker rooms were so safe already. Here is an article that contains details of 3 separate incidents of "hetero" boys assaulting another "hetero" boy.

    I have been looking all over for any information about TG men or women assaulting people in restrooms or locker rooms and so far all I have found are instances where the TG person is the victim.

  • Buddy1 Apr 14, 2016

    So criminals will ignore laws regarding guns but now all of a sudden they are going to be stopped in their tracks by this bathroom silliness? Yeah, no.

  • Susan Eaton Apr 14, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    and it's not really about safety either. I'm angry at this portrayal. If this bill's intent was about safety, it would be focused on preventing rape and sexual predation which involves far more than just male strangers pretending to be transgender, dressing as women, and entering the ladies room with predatory intent. Then again, proponents would have to produce actual statistics and put thought around preventing sexual predation which would then allow everyone to realize that most rape involves a known acquaintance, friend, or family member, certain hours of the day, etc.. Suggestions to google for individual case reports of this specific type of sexual predation are "lipstick" designed to cover that this bill was about Christian fundamentalism and a desire to return to the 1950s.

  • Sue Garriss Apr 13, 2016
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    This bill has so many negative components other than the bathroom and, in my opinion and many others, was just created to stir up the conservative voters for November. The only thing most of my conservative acquaintances see is the bathroom (safety) issue and they haven't read the bill (hate to use Dan Forrest defense against businesses) and don't see the many additions on page 3 and 4. Charlotte spent 1 year having discussions before they passed their bill and these guys spent about 12 hours!! It's not just about a bathroom!!!

  • Russell Chapman Apr 13, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Please cite one instance in which a child was harmed, in their own bathroom, by a person of the opposite sex that was dressed as that sex. In other words, please tell me when a female was harmed by a male, in the girls restroom, that was dressed or pretending to be a female.
    Then tell me how this new law "protects" a child any more than the laws that were already on the books.
    FACT: most pedofiles are straight men.
    FACT: most pedofiles attack children they already know.

  • Lance Boyle Apr 13, 2016
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    If you are worried about what your children are exposed to that is risky, try turning on you TV for a few minutes and watch some programs and commercials. Now that should frighten you.

  • Mike Smith Apr 13, 2016
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    Now Jackson and Goodman admit they didn't actually read the entire bill before voting on it. Whose fault is that?