On May 13, 2017 at 2 p.m., two North Carolina legislators will hold a town hall event at Stephens Lee Community Center to discuss House Bill (HB) 142, which repealed the controversial HB2, often referred to as “the bathroom bill.”
Both Senator Terry Van Duyn (D-Buncombe) and Representative John Ager (D-Buncombe) had opposed HB2 and voted in support of HB142, and will take the opportunity to explain their reasoning with those who attend. Among other agenda items for discussion are a bill, introduced by Henderson County Senator Chuck Edwards and passed by the State Senate, that divides Asheville into districts to vote for Asheville City Council members, and the Republican-majority legislature’s attempts to reduce Governor Cooper’s authority over the state Board of Elections.
Last year the state legislature passed the infamous “bathroom bill,” formerly known as the Public Facilities and Privacy Act or HB2, which barred local governments from passing ordinances that protect the rights of LGBT people. The law required individuals to use the restroom facilities according to the gender listed on their birth certificates in all public buildings, including schools. North Carolina received widespread condemnation for the law and lost millions of dollars as companies and sports agencies withdrew investments from the state.
In March of this year, the NCAA gave North Carolina a deadline to repeal HB2 by March 30th or the state would be ineligible to host championship games through 2022. State legislators approved a compromise bill, HB142, barely meeting the NCAA deadline. The new law repealed the most controversial measures in HB2 but still bans local governments from implementing non-discrimination ordinances until 2020.
Rep. Ager said the vote for the compromise “was the toughest vote I’ve had to make down here. HB2 is half-gone: No more birth certificate nonsense about bathroom use in state law. That’s good.”
Interested area residents are encouraged to join Senator Van Duyn and Representative Ager to express their ideas and ask questions about the new compromise bill, and to learn why these local representatives voted in support of HB142.