North Carolina repealed key components of its controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), which required transgender people use the bathroom that corresponded to the sex on their birth certificate.
"Today, we repealed HB2", Cooper wrote on Twitter.
Cooper said the new law is "not a flawless deal and it is not my preferred solution".
LGBT and human rights groups were quick to dismiss HB142, saying the new law does not do enough to protect transgender people from discrimination. 2 argued that the law would cost the state's economy millions in lost revenue. For comparison, other events cancelled at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex include a concert from Bruce Springsteen ($100,000), a Cirque du Soleil performance ($68,000), and early-round NCAA men's basketball games ($493,124).
The announcement came as the NCAA said North Carolina sites won't be considered for championship events from 2018 to 2022 "absent any change" in House Bill 2, which it views as discrimination.
The move comes just hours ahead of the NCAA deadline which they issued Thursday warning North Carolina on the need to repeal the law or face being outed for the possibility of hosting collegiate athletic championships for the coming six years, something which could cost the Tar Heel state billions of dollars.
Among those cancellations was the NCAA's decision to move seven 2016-2017 championship games out of the state. This was a national embarrassment, courtesy of Republican leaders in the General Assembly amateurishly flexing their muscle to please their hard-right base.
Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake, said no compromise is flawless.
"It's not a ideal deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to fix our reputation", Cooper said.
HB 2 was passed in response to an ordinance in Charlotte, the state's largest city, that permitted transgender people to use the bathrooms matching their gender identity. "Now the question is. whether or not this new bill has changed the landscape sufficiently that the board is comfortable in returning to North Carolina".
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The governor said he would have preferred a bill that extended discrimination protections even further, but that wasn't possible while the GOP holds veto-proof majorities in both legislative chambers.
Cooper was elected in November on a platform that called for repeal of HB2, which was enacted under the man he defeated, Republican Gov.
In the House, Republican Rep. Scott Stone urged his colleagues to vote for the new bill.
"We are impeding the growth in our revenues, in our abilities to do more things for tourism, for teacher pay. while we have this stigma hanging over us", Stone said. "This was the best deal we could get. You can't go anywhere on this planet without somebody knowing what is HB2 and having some perception about it".
"They would not have done this unless they thought the NCAA was on board", Witeck said of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican lawmakers. They say that it is, you know - it goes against, you know, the effort for civil rights. "There were four distinct problems that the board had with that bill", he said, referring to HB2.
"At worst it is a betrayal of principle", he said on the Senate floor. "Democracy isn't flawless. This is not the end". "So, it actually puts a moratorium on seeking those particular rights".
The governor told reporters the law was imperfect but said Thursday's action would help begin repairing North Carolina's damaged reputation.
Today, the North Carolina Senate voted 32-16 to pass the bill, and the House voted it through by 70 to 48.
The fact that local authorities are barred from making anti-LGBT discrimination illegal until 2020 prompted an outpouring of anger from many prominent LGBT activists, with Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro calling it a "fake repeal".
We should remind people this all did start when the city of Charlotte passed a local ordinance.