North Carolina rolled back its "bathroom bill" Thursday in a bid to end the yearlong backlash over transgender rights that has cost the state dearly in business projects, conventions, and basketball tournaments. The compromise plan, announced Wednesday night by the state's Democratic governor and leaders of the Republican-controlled legislature, was worked out under mounting pressure from the NCAA, which threatened to take away more sporting events from the basketball-obsessed state as long as the law, also known as House Bill 2, remained on the books. The new measure cleared the House and Senate and was signed by Gov. Roy Cooper in a matter of hours, the AP reports.
Among other things, it repeals the best-known section of HB2: a requirement that transgender people use the public restrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. "Today's law immediately removes that restriction. It's gone," Cooper said. The American Civil Liberties Union and gay and transgender activists complained that the new bill still denies them certain protections from discrimination, and they demanded nothing less than full repeal. As a result, it was unclear whether the retreat from HB2 would stop the boycotts or satisfy the NCAA. An NCAA spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a message seeking reaction. (Read more bathroom bill stories.)