Just over a year since a political firestorm swept over North Carolina’s public restrooms, lawmakers would appear to have reached a common-sense solution to the dispute.
According to WRAL, state lawmakers struck a bipartisan deal late Wednesday night, which will be going to the legislature later this week:
House Bill 142, which initially dealt with occupational licensing boards, will be gutted, and the new language inserted before the bill is heard Thursday morning in the Senate Rules Committee.
The bill states that “state agencies, boards, offices, departments, branches of government … and political subdivisions of the state, including local boards of education are preempted from regulation of access to multiple occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities, except in accordance with an act of the General Assembly.”
The proposal also prohibits local governments from enacting or amending ordinances regulating private employment practices or public accommodations until Dec. 1, 2020, which Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said would give time for federal lawsuits over transgender rights to be resolved.
The move came after the NCAA set an ultimatum for elected officials in Raleigh: Repeal HB2 or get frozen out of future basketball tournaments and all the revenue that comes with them. The threat is the latest in a series of extortion attempts by big corporations and organizations to bully the state into booting the law, which was passed as a blocking measure against a radical policy attempt by the Charlotte City Council last year.
American Lens, a site run by grassroots conservatives in the Tar Heel State, breaks the provisions of the deal down as such:
Protects privacy in bathrooms and shower facilities by leaving regulation of multi-occupancy facilities to the state, returning to the status quo prior to passage of Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance;
Implements a temporary moratorium on local ordinances similar to Charlotte’s until December 1, 2020 to allow federal litigation to play out.
The federal litigation is ongoing lawsuits between North Carolina and the Department of Justice over the bill. In a statement supporting the brokered deal, former Governor Pat McCrory said that the provisions would still safeguard privacy and safety while giving lawyers time to work through the case.
— Pat McCrory (@PatMcCroryNC) March 30, 2017
The assumption that the Supreme Court should usurp this problem from the political realm is an issue unto itself, but we’ve addressed that elsewhere on the website multiple times.
Finally, a return to status quo antebellum — which was one of the best possible results of the whole yearlong debacle. In the end, North Carolina has three years to resolve its court disputes with the Department of Justice – a slow pitch with A.G. Jeff Sessions at the helm – while private businesses and organizations are still free to set their own restroom policies (as they should be).
But the bigger winner here is leftist corporatism. This development wasn’t driven by the voters of North Carolina (seeing as how Republicans held the house in November and the dubious nature of Cooper’s gubernatorial victory). It was driven by liberal outside interests like the NCAA and private corporations that tried to extort the Tar Heel State into bending the knee to the trans-agenda.
Now, with the threat of the next six NCAA basketball tournament hosting rights on the line, lawmakers’ hands were forced and Republicans ended up playing by the bullies’ rules. The bullies didn’t get much at all mind you, and orgs in the LGBT lobby are speaking out against it. But the terms of the negotiation are enough to send a message that extortion works.
That lawmakers in North Carolina managed to pull off a deal that didn’t completely capitulate to the LGBT lobby et al. is impressive, but the implications of kowtowing to the ultimatum of the bully, albeit after some time, comes with consequence.