North Carolina lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill that repeals the state’s controversial bathroom law in a move meant to end a year of tumult that saw businesses leave and major sporting events and concerts canceled.
Gov. Roy Cooper signed the measure into law, saying, “For over a year now, House Bill 2 has been a dark cloud hanging over our great state. It has stained our reputation. It has discriminated against our people and it has caused great economic harm in many of our communities.”
Cooper said the new law is “not a perfect deal,” but it was “the best deal we could get.”
Fierce criticism remains from LGBTQ groups, which say the new bill — which eliminates rules about who can use which restroom but retains other features — still allows for discrimination against transgender people.
The bill, a compromise agreed to Wednesday by Cooper and the state’s top two Republican legislators, was approved by the House and Senate after contentious debate.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether organizations that opposed the outgoing bathroom law — such as the NCAA — would be satisfied and consider restoring events and other ventures in the state.
“Nobody is 100% happy, but I will say I’m 95% happy,” said House Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican who backed the compromise.