Conservative lawmakers in North Carolina scored a win on Dec. 21 when controversial HB2 (also known as the Bathroom Bill) withstood a repeal attempt. While the special legislative session failed in its purpose, the state General Assembly resumes its regular session on Jan. 11.
The bill was signed in March by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, but with Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper headed into office, North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger, a Republican, is blaming the repeal on Democrats.
"Their action proves they only wanted a repeal in order to force radical social engineering and shared bathrooms across North Carolina, at the expense of our state's families, our reputation and our economy," Berger wrote in a statement, notes CNN.
Yet, the economic fallout of HB2 has already hit North Carolina. According to PolitiFact, companies like PayPal, Deutsche Bank, and CoStar have halted their growth in the state specifically because of the bill -- costing almost 1,400 jobs alone.
And according to an estimation by Wired, the bill has cost the state’s economy some $395 million.
"As long as HB2 is on the books, thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home, especially transgender people, are being discriminated against and will never feel safe," Simone Bell, southern regional director of Lambda Legal, wrote in a statement released with the ACLU of North Carolina, notes CNN.
"We are thankful for the members of the General Assembly who stood up for what is right, and represented the will of voters by stopping the move to cower and cave in to the city of Charlotte and the Human Rights Campaign," the NC Values Coalition further stated.
But incoming Cooper maintains hope in fighting the bill.
"This was our best chance," he said. "It cannot be our last chance."