the North Carolina House of Representatives is drafting changes to the controversial HB2 bill. The sudden move to make legislative changes is due in part to pressure from the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets.
The House Bill 2 Legislation became controversial due to its restrictions on transgender rights. It stated that one could only use the restroom based on one’s sex on one’s birth certificate.
The bill was met with fierce criticism among the general public as well as from major corporations. Those groups included the Hornets and the NBA. The NBA, especially, had leverage in the situation. League commissioner Adam Silver routinely threatened to move the All-Star Game from Charlotte next year if changes were not made.
Now, it appears that pressure worked. Following from The Charlotte Observer:
Among the draft bill’s biggest changes is the creation of an official document that would recognize a person’s gender reassignment. The new document, which is treated as the equivalent as a birth certificate in the draft legislation, is referred to as a certificate of sex reassignment.
The draft legislation is the result of months of conversations between leadership in the state legislature, including the Speaker’s office, and officials from the NBA, On Your Side Investigates has learned.
Charlotte is set to host the 2017 NBA All Star Game, an event whose future has been uncertain since the passage of HB2 this spring.
A person with knowledge of the league’s plans, who asked not to be identified to discuss details of the ongoing discussion surround the 2017 All Star Game’s future in Charlotte, said passage of the proposed legislation would be a big step in helping the league to make the decision to keep the game in Charlotte.
The discussion have also included executives with the Charlotte Hornets, leaders from the City of Charlotte and other legislative leaders, the person said.
“What the league is looking for is for anyone to be able to use, at any All Star venue, the bathroom associated with their gender identity,” the person said, adding that that goal extends to all venues used by NBA teams.
This is a prime example of the power of the NBA. The money it can bring to North Carolina just through the All-Star Game is a huge reason why the state legislature must change its laws.
Seeing the NBA get involved in a matter of equality is a great sign. The league holds immense power and is using it for good as demonstrated by this report.
There is, of course, a long way to go, but this is a positive step forward.
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