Freshman state lawmaker files 'bathroom bill' as NC works to repeal theirs

Updated: Dec. 20, 2016 at 12:23 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A freshman state representative has pre-filed a controversial "bathroom bill" that could be repealed in North Carolina as early as Wednesday.

Rep. Steven Wayne Long filed the bill, H. 3012, on Dec. 15.

The bill would prevent local governments from passing anti-discrimination ordinances covering the use of public bathrooms by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

The bill appears to resemble legislation in North Carolina -- the controversial HB2 law passed earlier this year -- that was largely targeted at an ordinance passed in Charlotte designed to issue protections to transgender residents who wanted to use the bathroom of their choosing regardless of their biological sex.

However, Long says his bill is nothing like HB2.

"It, the bill that passed in North Carolina, HB2, it went further than just stopping that ordinance that Charlotte had," Long said. "The ordinance would have forced businesses to do something that they didn't want to do, and there's a lot of upset business owners. What this bill does, it addresses only an ordinance like that that would force a business to do something they didn't want to do, so I think there's a better chance of it passing because that's the goal of the bill."

Long calls his bill a "private property bill" and a "business liberty" bill. According to Long, the bill says local governments can’t enact laws to allow a person to use a restroom regardless of their biological sex. 

"It prohibits local governments such as county or city or any kind of municipality from making the rule that would force a business owner to do something that they don't want to do," Long said.?

Charlotte recently repealed their protection measures in hopes of getting the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal HB2 after many corporate entities such as the NCAA and the NBA pulled events out of the state following the passage of the bill.

North Carolina's General Assembly is set to meet Wednesday to begin discussing a repeal.

Long's bill appears to be similar to a bill filed by former state Sen. Lee Bright last session.

"I've about had enough of this," Bright said in April 2016. "I mean, years ago we kept talking about tolerance, tolerance, and tolerance, and now they want men who claim to be women to be able to go into bathrooms with children. And you got corporations who say this is okay."

However, Bright's bill never even made it out of committee. Bright was also voted out of his Senate seat during the June Republican primary.

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