North Carolina lawmakers reach deal to repeal the state's 'bathroom bill'

State legislators will vote on the new bill on Thursday to repeal "HB2."

ByKarma Allen
March 30, 2017, 4:26 AM

— -- Republican legislators in North Carolina said they reached a deal with the Democratic governor on Wednesday to repeal the state's controversial “bathroom bill,” which among other things barred transgender individuals from using public bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

During an ad hoc news conference, Republican House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger said they reached an agreement with Gov. Roy Cooper, who was a staunch critic of the HB2 bill signed by his predecessor.

"I support the House Bill 2 repeal compromise that will be introduced tomorrow," Cooper said late Wednesday after the announcement. "It's not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation."

The deal came hours before North Carolina was set to potentially lose the ability to host NCAA athletic championships for several years. The NCAA was one of many prominent organizations to sanction the state in the aftermath of the enactment of the bill, which was signed by Republican former Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016.

Both chambers of the North Carolina legislature on Thursday morning will take up the bill, which ended days of marathon negotiations.

The Associated Press estimates that HB2 will have cost the state nearly $4 billion in lost business revenue over a span of 12 years.

The new proposal would prevent local governments, schools and others from regulating multi-stall bathrooms, showers and changing areas. It would also prohibit cities from enacting their own nondiscrimination ordinances for nearly four years.

In a joint statement, Berger and Moore said they are "pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy."

In a tweet early Thursday morning, Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization that advocates for LGBTQ equality, called the proposal a "backroom deal" that favors "political expediency" over what's right for the people.

#HB2 proposal is a backroom deal that takes the path of political expediency instead of doing what's right for the people of Nort Carolina.

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) March 30, 2017

The group also called for a full repeal of the bill, arguing that the compromise still leaves room for discrimination.

The Associated Press and ABC News' Joshua Hoyos contributed to this report.

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