North Carolina repealed and replaced the controversial law, House Bill 2 (HB2), which ended anti-discrimination protections including restricting transgender individuals from using the bathroom of their choice.
Known as “the bathroom bill,” HB2 sparked major outcry nationally, and many LGBTQIA+ groups are saying the new law is an empty gesture. The bathroom bill’s replacement — HB142 — repeals HB2, but also prevents cities from protecting their own LGBTQIA+ residents.
This change came following massive boycotts, which would cost North Carolina more than $3.76 billion in the next 12 years because of lost business, according to The Associated Press.
The NCAA, which includes 1,100 U.S. colleges including UCSC, pulled seven championship games from North Carolina. The association announced on Tuesday the games will return, albeit tentatively.
“This new law has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment,” according to a public statement, and the organization “will not hesitate to take necessary action at any time.”
This change of opinion has been criticized by LGBTQIA+ advocacy groups, like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which said the decision to return puts LGBTQIA+ players, employees and fans at risk.
“After drawing a line in the sand and calling for repeal of HB2, the NCAA simply let North Carolina lawmakers off the hook,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a public statement.