North Carolina lawmakers adjourn after
leaving transgender law largely unchanged
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[July 02, 2016]
By Alex Dobuzinskis
(Reuters) - North Carolina lawmakers
adjourned for the year on Friday night after leaving mostly intact a law
restricting transgender bathroom access that has drawn condemnation and
jeopardized the state's efforts to host the NBA All-Star Game, officials
The law passed in March made North Carolina the first U.S. state
to require transgender people to use restrooms in public buildings
and schools that match the sex on their birth certificate rather
than their gender identity.
The National Basketball Association has said it could move its
All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and has cited
concerns over the law's effects on principles of inclusion and equal
protection that league officials say they uphold.
A spokesman for the NBA could not immediately be reached for
North Carolina state Representative Chris Sgro, a Democrat who
opposes the law, which is known as House Bill 2, said he had hoped
lawmakers would vote on Friday on whether to repeal it. But they
adjourned for the year without holding that vote, he said.
"It probably means that we're going to have to come back for a
special session because we're going to lose the All-Star Game if we
don't," Sgro, who is executive director of the gay rights group
Equality North Carolina, said in a phone interview.
The NBA All-Star Game is scheduled for February 2017.
President Barack Obama, business leaders, entertainers and some
prominent politicians have criticized House Bill 2, saying it is
unfair to transgender people.
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State lawmakers on Friday addressed one point of controversy over
House Bill 2 by restoring the right to sue for wrongful termination
in state court on allegations of discrimination based on age, sex,
race or other factors, officials said.
House Bill 2 had removed that right and required such suits to be
filed in federal court.
The office of Senate Leader Phil Berger, a Republican, said in a
statement the change addressed concerns from the state's governor
But Berger expressed continued support for House Bill 2.
"Protecting the safety and privacy of North Carolina families by
keeping grown men out of bathrooms, shower facilities and changing
rooms with women and young girls has always been our primary
objective," Berger said in a statement.
On Thursday, an NBA statement said no final decision had yet been
made regarding the All-Star Game.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Nick
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