Speaking to reporters on Thursday afternoon, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper tooted his own horn for signing toothless legislation that ostensibly rolls back the state’s disastrous House Bill Two, while actually strengthening discrimination against LGBTQ people in the state.
Calling it “an important first step for our state,” Cooper—who ran successfully against HB2 during his 2016 campaign for governor—tried his best to put a positive spin on the newly signed House Bill 142, despite the who’s-who of rights groups and activists that have already come out against the measure.
BREAKING: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signs compromise bill repealing state’s “bathroom bill” https://t.co/PDkBsfFIno
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 30, 2017
“House Bill Two has been a dark cloud hanging over our great state,” Cooper said. “It has stained our reputation, it has discriminated against our people, and it has cause great economic harm in many of our communities.”
But, as many have pointed out, the newly enacted legislation is no solution at all to the outrages inflicted on North Carolina’s LGBTQ community by HB2. Instead, the law re-stains the state’s reputation all over again. Among other odious provisions, it specifically bans municipalities from enacting their own local LGBTQ protections until 2020, ensuring that discrimination will have a healthy place to thrive for years to come.
On Twitter, Cooper acknowledged the new law’s failings, saying “It wasn’t a perfect deal or my preferred solution.”
So, why sign it? Well, the NCAA had threatened to pull all college sports tournaments from North Carolina until 2022 unless HB2 was rescinded, so apparently any old bill that got the job done was fine—no matter how terrible.