ACC to consider NC as event host again after LGBT law change

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper holds a press conference

Leaders of national and state gay rights groups said they are opposed to any legislation that essentially doesn't repeal HB2 completely and nothing else. Democratic Senator Dan Blue said the bill takes North Carolina to a pre-2016 (HB2) state when it comes to public restroom use.

Cooper acknowledges that it's not a flawless deal and stops short of many things the state needs to do.

The most high-profile events that moved out of North Carolina due to HB2 were the ACC Championship game for football and the NCAA Tournament first and second rounds in men's basketball.

NCAA president Mark Emmert said Thursday that the organization's board of directors will announce next week whether it will allow the return of NCAA championship games to the state.

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"After more than a year of inaction, today North Carolina lawmakers doubled-down on discrimination", said a statement from Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

The sports governing body had removed neutral-site championships from the state for the current school year.

Forest, who won re-election in November and is a likely GOP candidate for governor in 2020, argues that without the law in place local governments could pass rules making it easy for male sexual predators to enter public restrooms designated for the opposite sex. After passing HB2 in 2015, the NCAA and other sports and entertainment entities boycotted the Tarheel State to pressure legislators into a reversal.

The NCAA has said North Carolina won't be considered for championships from 2018 to 2022 unless HB2 is changed.

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The move follows an agreement struck between Republican lawmakers and Cooper aimed in part at removing the negative spotlight the bill had shone on their state.

Under the new deal, HB2 will be repealed, but local governments can not pass ordinances related to bathroom policy, and regulation of multi-occupancy bathrooms will fall under the state's control. HB2 was created to block a Charlotte non-discrimination ordinance, part of which allowed transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with and required people to use the restroom according to their biological sex listed on their birth certificate in government buildings, schools, and universities. "Now the question is ... whether or not this new bill has changed the landscape sufficiently that the board is comfortable in returning to North Carolina".

SHAPIRO: As we heard, the governor says that this begins to fix the state's reputation.

"I think this is a great way for us to reset but we have to remember that all people regardless of lifestyle, they're entitled to happiness, and love and respect and safety", he said. A recent Associated Press analysis suggested that the law cost North Carolina as much $3.76 billion in lost business. The site selection committees began meeting this week and are scheduled to announce their decisions on April 18. "I think we've kind of side stepped the issue to a degree", Miller said. What's more, over $40 million in business investment was withdrawn from the state since the law was enacted, resulting in a loss of over 1,250 jobs, the Williams Institute estimated. "This law does not repeal HB2, it doubles down on discrimination", said Cathryn Oakley HRC Senior Legislative Counsel at a press conference in Raleigh Thursday morning before the votes.

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