(Washington Post) — North Carolina lawmakers retreated from the state’s controversial law that restricted which public restrooms transgender people can use, repealing it Thursday in the face of economic pressure in favor of a new bill that gay rights groups attacked as discriminatory.
The legislature approved the bill Thursday and Gov. Roy Cooper (D) signed it, reversing a law that required transgender people to use public bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates. The new law drew intense opposition from civil rights advocates because it bans local governments from passing measures to protect LGBT people. Cooper defended the new measure as an imperfect compromise and said it was not his “preferred solution.”
The votes and anger Thursday marked the latest eruption in the fight over North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill,” which has embroiled state politics and came to define the state’s public image since lawmakers introduced and hastily signed it a year ago. Since then, North Carolina has been buffeted by economic boycotts, job losses and public criticism, as sports leagues have relocated games, companies have canceled expansions and some tourists decided to spend their money elsewhere.