College league ends North Carolina
boycott after bathroom law revoked
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[April 01, 2017]
(Reuters) - The Atlantic Coast
Conference (ACC), a major collegiate athletic league, said on Friday it
has restored North Carolina's eligibility to host championship sporting
events after the state repealed restrictions on bathroom access for
The ACC move was the first organization to end the kind of boycotts
imposed on North Carolina by various athletic and business entities in a
protest against last year's enactment of the so-called bathroom law,
denounced by opponents as discriminatory.
After months of political wrangling, the Republican-controlled
legislature on Thursday repealed that law, which required transgender
individuals entering restrooms, locker rooms and showers in public
buildings to use facilities that matched their sex at birth, as opposed
to their gender identity.
The statute, widely known as HB 2, also barred local governments in the
state from enacting their own anti-discrimination protections in
housing, employment and other areas on the basis of sexual orientation
or gender identity.
In its place, the HB 2 repeal prevented local jurisdictions from
enacting such anti-discrimination measures until 2020.
The HB 2 repeal also reserved for state lawmakers sole authority to
regulate access to "multiple occupancy restrooms, showers or changing
facilities" in the future.
The repeal was signed into law by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, the
former state attorney general who opposed HB 2 from the outset and
unseated the former Republican governor last year in large part over
political and economic fallout from the bathroom bill.
The new measure drew sharp condemnation from civil rights advocates, who
saw it as a largely empty political gesture.
The move by the ACC was a hopeful sign for supporters of the repeal who
hoped it would be enough to persuade boycotting organizations to end
protests that cost North Carolina's economy hundreds of millions of
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A sign protesting a North Carolina law restricting transgender
bathroom access. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
"This compromise was a first step to repairing our state's
reputation and economy, and it's encouraging to see the ACC put
North Carolina back on its list," Cooper said afterward.
In boycotting North Carolina, the ACC followed the lead of the
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which had made a
similar decision a few days earlier.
The NCAA board is also considering a return to North Carolina, NCAA
President Mark Emmert said on Thursday. A decision was expected in
the coming days, he said.
In basketball-crazed North Carolina, the withdrawal of NCAA
tournament games and the National Basketball Association All-Star
game, which had been awarded to Charlotte, reverberated throughout
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Additional reporting and writing by
Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Eric Meijer)
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