North Carolina legislators ended their legislative session late Friday with a small tweak to HB2, the state’s controversial “bathroom bill,” but without touching any of the most contentious issues in the law.
The law, passed by the GOP-dominated General Assembly in a special one-day session in March, required transgender people to use the restroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate and prevented cities from passing their own ordinances barring LGBT discrimination or requiring transgender bathroom accommodations.
The tweak legislators made Friday was small. It restores the ability to bring discrimination claims in state courts, a right that appeared to have been removed from law by accident during the drafting process. Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed the bill the day it was passed in March but almost immediately called on the legislature to restore the right to sue. He’s expected to sign the revision into law.
But there had been talk of a broader effort to amend the law, which has brought widespread condemnation, business boycotts, and a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice alleging violations of the Civil Rights Act. Democrats have called on the legislature to repeal the bill altogether, a suggestion Republicans dismissed. Instead, they were reportedly considered a change that would create an official gender-reassignment certificate that would grant transgender people the right to use the bathroom corresponding to their current gender.