Democratic North Carolina Governor Has No Plans To Challenge Executive Order On Bathrooms

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Feb 17, 2017 12:15 PM
Democratic North Carolina Governor Has No Plans To Challenge Executive Order On Bathrooms

North Carolina’s bathroom bill has caused the Tar Heel State much economic grief. It possibly cost Republican Gov. Pat McCrory re-election, as scores of economic opportunities and business fled the state over HB2, which stipulates that people using public restroom mush use the one corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate. Yet, the bill also didn’t strip any existing anti-discrimination protections. Moreover, transgender Americans could easily use the men’s of women’s bathroom if they simply changed their birth certificate. They weren’t banned from using the restroom.

In the end, Attorney General Roy Cooper was elected governor based off the anxiety HB2 created—it cost the state $630 million. So, repeal was on the way, right? Nope. NBC News reported on December 21 that the state legislature failed to move on it:

North Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday failed to reach a deal to repeal a divisive and costly law restricting protections for transgender people, ending a daylong special session without coming to agreement on anything.

After the North Carolina House adjourned without making a decision, the state's Senate voted down the motion to repeal the controversial so-called "bathroom bill."

That means no end in sight for a crisis that has already helped oust the sitting governor and triggered a boycott of the state by businesses, performers and sports leagues that has cost North Carolina tens of millions of dollars.

Now, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said he also doesn’t plan to challenge the executive order issued by McCrory relating to the HB2 fallout:

Governor Roy Cooper has no plans to change an executive order signed by then-Governor Pat McCrory requiring multiple occupancy restrooms be designed for and used only by people based on their biological sex, a spokesman for the Governor said Monday.

[…]

The executive order re-affirmed the language in HB2 as it relates to state agencies, specifically required each multiple occupancy-bathroom to be designated for use by men or women and prohibiting people of the opposite biological sex from using those facilities.

EO 93 also added sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s non-discrimination policy.

At the time the executive orders were signed, Cooper - who was then running against McCrory for Governor - said the action did not go far enough in addressing the policies implemented by HB2.

[…]

A spokeswoman for Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger called on Cooper to clarify his position on EO 93.

“Based on his previous comments on HB2, we are curious why Gov. Cooper hasn’t rescinded this policy and issued his own executive order allowing men into women’s restrooms and shower facilities in public schools and in government buildings – like he did at the attorney general’s office?” spokeswoman Amy Auth said.

Cooper has since offered a deal to state Republicans relating to HB2. Repeal the law, and then he would push for tougher penalties for crimes committed in bathrooms.