North Carolina Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper say they have agreed on legislation to resolve a standoff over the state's "bathroom bill" through a replacement measure that still restricts LGBT nondiscrimination protections. GOP leaders announced late Wednesday that the new legislation would be debated and voted on Thursday, but it was unclear whether there were enough House and Senate votes to pass it, the AP reports. And leaders of gay rights groups were incensed about the proposal and vowed political punishment for officials who support it. Cooper, who ran successfully last fall on a platform that included repealing House Bill 2, said in a release that he supported the compromise.
"It's not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation," he said. The new proposal would leave state legislators in charge of policy on public multi-stall restrooms. Local governments also couldn't pass ordinances extending nondiscrimination protection until 2020. That temporary moratorium, according to House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, would allow pending federal litigation over transgender issues to play out. "Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy," Berger and Moore said in a statement. (If left in place, HB2 would cost the state an estimated $3.76 billion in lost business over 12 years.)