Hundreds Protest As State Legislature Begins HB2 Debate

RALEIGH, NC — Legislation to repeal House Bill Two will head to committee discussions. Law makers began the short session Monday faced with protestors and supporters of the controversial new law.

Police arrested 54 people who they say violated various protest restrictions inside the state legislative buildings and House chamber.

“This legislation is discriminatory,” said Joaquin Carcaña. “it’s shameful.”
Carcaña is a University of North Carolina employee and transgender man suing the state with the American Civil Liberties Union. They argue the HB2 violates constitutional rights by banning transgender citizens from choosing which bathroom to use at public locations like schools. Private businesses can choose how to serve customers.
More than 100 organizations have cancelled events in Charlotte. PayPal dropped plans to bring more than 400 jobs to the city. The businesses argue HB2 isn’t in line with their discrimination policies because it discriminates against the LGBT community.
“It’s wrong legislation,” said Rep. Tricia Cotham. “It discriminates against part of our population. It also has a tremendous economic impact, we have seen. Especially in Mecklenburg county.”
Supporters of HB2 were there Monday to urge lawmakers to hold tight to the new law.
“This whole bill has been misrepresented,” said Speaker of the House Time Moore. “The intent was to protect privacy first and foremost.”
Speaker Moore says Republicans will likely agree to. Hange the section of HB2 that some argue takes away everyone’s right to sue employers for discrimination on the state level.
“I can certainly see no harm in making changes to make it clear that folks have access to the state courts for discrimination claims,” said Speaker Moore.
Supporters of the LGBT community submitted 180,000 signatures asking lawmakers to repeal HB2.
“It’s interfering with my job, my livelihood,” said Carcaño. “And as we know, separate isn’t equal.”
Lawmakers say the bill to repeal HB2, HB946, will likely go to the judiciary and appropriations committees for discussion before legislators vote.