- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 30, 2017

Enough with the bathrooms already. Fact is: No amount of legislation can change a boy into a girl, and a girl into a boy.

But North Carolina lawmakers have decided to go ahead and repeal their controversial HB2, the so-called “bathroom bill” that sparked massive outcry among the LBGTQ community, the business world, the NCAA and artists like Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr who refused to play in places that didn’t let boys pee in the girls’ restroom.

Their repeal doesn’t go as far as the LGBTQs want. So now there’s a new outcry.

For heaven’s sake: Can’t we all just go at home?

North Carolina Republicans struck a deal with their Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, to pull HB2, which makes sure that only those born boys use public boys’ rooms and likewise for girls. Law supporters saw it as a safety issue — as a way of keeping out the peeping toms, and worse.

But PayPal pulled its planned facility from the state. So did Deutsche Bank and CoStar. The Bank of America’s CEO warned that other business leaders he’s spoken to were planning to move their own projects elsewhere, as well. The NCAA announced it wouldn’t hold its tournament there. And some concert-goers were left flat, facing refunds.

The Associated Press, meanwhile, came out with this scathing assessment of just how much money North Carolina had lost, and would continue to lose through the next 12 years, by standing by its bathroom crackdown. That the analysis was a bit faulty, to say the least, didn’t matter. The headlines were shocking enough: North Carolina losing $3.76 billion because of bathroom bill!

So legislators caved and struck a deal with the governor. The repeal, which critics are saying is not a repeal but actually “HB2.0,” basically lets the state keep control of who uses what bathroom until December 2020. At that time, cities and localities can pass their own bathroom laws, the state be hanged.

Republicans say the repeal is indeed a repeal, but allows the state to still keep control with “multi-occupancy facilities,” which of course, includes those in local government offices.

Cooper called it “not a perfect deal” but one that should nonetheless “repair our reputation,” CNN reported.

LGBTQ people hate it.

“[It’s] a shell piece of legislation,” said Chris Agro, executive director of Equality NC, CNN said. “The initiative is not a repeal. It’s doubling down on the discrimination that HB2 exacts. It’s HB2.0. It doesn’t allow municipalities to protect people from discrimination till 2020.”

With the state maintaining control, it does indeed smell of HB2.0. But then again — so what? There’s nothing wrong with a state trying to keep boys out of the girls’ bathrooms. And just to double down on the whole reason the bathroom bill was born in the first place: Boys who dress as girls are not girls.

That and that alone should be the focus of the HB2 argument. And if it means a few businesses leave the state, so be it.

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