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HB2 compromise signed into law, Duke responds

<p>Gov. Roy Cooper and leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly struck a "compromise" measure to undo portions of House Bill 2.&nbsp;</p>

Gov. Roy Cooper and leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly struck a "compromise" measure to undo portions of House Bill 2. 

UPDATE: The NCAA announced Tuesday that it had removed its prohibition on holding championship events in North Carolina because of the new HB2 replacement.

In a statement, the NCAA Board of Governors said the law "has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment. If we find that our expectations of a discrimination-free environment are not met, we will not hesitate to take necessary action at any time."

The ACC made a similar announcement last week, which will allow the state to be considered for championship events. 

A deal to repeal House Bill 2 was signed into law Thursday afternoon.

The compromise struck by Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, and Republican leaders in the General Assembly removes the law but prevents municipalities from passing nondiscrimination ordinances to protect LGBTQ+ people and workers’ rights until 2020.

Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, sent The Chronicle a statement from President Richard Brodhead.

“We are pleased that the legislature has moved to reverse a misguided law that has caused significant harm to the state of North Carolina,” Brodhead said. “This compromise is far from perfect. We continue to urge the governor and members of the legislature to find common ground that ensures equal protection under the law for every member of our community.”

The NCAA had given state leaders a deadline of Thursday to repeal the law before they would move all championship games out of the state until 2022. It remains to be seen if the compromise fully satisfies the association. The compromise passed in the Senate on a 32-16 vote and in the House by 70-48—the votes did not fall along party lines.

HB2 provoked nationwide outrage since it was signed into law by former Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, last year. The NCAA pulled its championships out of North Carolina and many businesses have boycotted the state, citing its discrimination against transgender North Carolinians.

Although the Democratic Party endorsed the compromise, liberal groups across the state have expressed displeasure with Cooper, calling the law a “HB2.0.”

Some conservative groups have likewise panned the law, which they complain does not fully address their concerns.

On behalf of Blue Devils United, incoming president Melodie Bonanno, a junior, noted that the repeal was not a "compromise" but instead another attack against LGBTQ+ individuals.

"Passed out of an attempt to meet the NCAA’S deadline to repeal HB2, this new bill came into existence as a closed door, backroom deal that included no input whatsoever from the LGBTQIA+ community," she wrote. "While it repeals HB2 on paper, it in actuality replaces the old bill with one that prevents municipalities from offering legal protections to LGBTQIA+ people until 2020 and outright bans protections for transgender individuals in ‘single-sex spaces’ (i.e. restrooms) forever. This bill does not just perpetuate discrimination—it makes it illegal to protect against it."

She said that BDU will continue its commitment to supporting transgender individuals.

"We urge the Cooper administration to better consider the LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies that worked to elect him," Bonanno noted. "The rights and safety of North Carolinians must take precedent over financial interests of the state or its legislators. While we are Duke students who of course understand the importance of basketball, we are concerned with a 'compromise' that places basketball over civil rights."

Editor's note: This article was updated at 9:00 p.m. Thursday to include a statement from Blue Devils United. 


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