North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an HB2 repeal bill on Thursday afternoon, despite the deal being slammed by LGBT and civil rights groups.
The Democrat signed the bill quickly after it was approved by the House earlier in the day in order to beat the deadline from the NCAA, which threatened to pull all future events from North Carolina until 2022 unless HB2 was repealed.
Civil rights groups are now accusing the governor of selling out in order to keep basketball in the state, while putting LGBT people at risk in the process.
The repeal allows provisions of HB2 to remain in effect through 2020, which means cities are still prohibited from passing non-discrimination ordinances on private employment or public accommodations for at least another three years.
LGBT groups are also arguing that the new deal still does not ensure trans citizens access to public bathrooms that match their gender identity.
Cooper won the election last year largely due to his desire to repeal HB2, but he is now saying that “this is the best deal we could get.”
“I believe with all my heart that this is the right thing to do,” the governor said after signing the bill. “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation.”
The ACLU of North Carolina released a statement that calls the repeal a “disgraceful backroom deal” that uses LGBT rights “as a bargaining chip.”
“What we witnessed was a last minute idea thrown together with little thought of protecting transgender residents,” said GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis. “Any human being, regardless of who they are, should always come before a basketball game – but apparently the North Carolina state government still doesn’t understand that concept.”