House Speaker Tim Moore has given his fellow Republican representatives a bit of homework this weekend.Consider a new plan which would change House Bill 2.
Change, yes, but not a full repeal. WFAE's Nick De La Canal talks with WFAE's Tom Bullock about the proposal.
NDC: Tom, let's jump right in with the most well-known part of HB 2. Would this plan drop or change the bathroom provisions of the bill?
TB: In a word, no. Yesterday, House Speaker Moore sat in his office and took questions from reporters. The full press conference was posted by WRAL-TV in Raleigh.
But here's what Tim Moore said about the provisions that require people use the bathroom, locker room, etc. that corresponds to their biological sex.
"We're not backing off of that. We made it very clear that when it comes to men being in changing rooms, showers, these facilities, we're not backing off those privacy issues. That's not changing. So if there's any entity out there, whether it's a sports league, or somebody else that's going to tell North Carolina that we have to let men in women's showers, that's just too bad. We're not going to change that."
TB: So this new plan Moore has asked the Republican representatives to mull over, it seems clear that it would leave one of the controversial parts of the bill intact.
NDC: Well then what would this plan do?
TB: That is still mostly a mystery. The full details of the plan have yet to be worked out.
Moore said we may see text of a bill next week. But he did shed a little light on the subject – in response to a tweet sent out by House Minority Leader Darren Jackson.
Jackson wrote the Republicans were pushing a Religious Freedom Restoration Act or RFRA-like plan. RFRA's allow businesses to refuse to serve customers based on the business owner's religious beliefs.
Indiana passed a RFRA back in 2015, which caused huge protests and boycotts. Indiana soon changed that law to end the boycotts.
Moore called Jackson's tweet "fake news" and said it was not the plan House Republicans were considering.
"There is no RFRA out there. There has been discussion about a conscience protection provision."
TB: Which raised more questions so Moore elaborated.
"You would put in statute, a private cause of action, where a citizen that they feel the government has done something to interfere with their free exercise"
TB: Free exercise of religion. This would mean a private citizen could sue a city, county or the state if they felt a law or ordinance forced them to do something against their religion.
NDC: Tom that sounds very similar to a RFRA.
TB: Moore was asked the same thing. And here's his response:
"It's entirely different. It'd be like talking about a Cadillac and a Kia. It's not the same thing. Yeah it’s a car, it's got four wheels, but it's a different thing."
TB: Nick, we won't know if that statement is true until we see just what the details are.
NDC: House Bill 2 has led to boycotts here in North Carolina, including by the NCAA. Any word from them about this proposed plan?
TB: On this particular plan, no. But the NCAA did tweet yesterday that North Carolina has until April 18 to do something about HB 2. That is the day the league will determine just where it will play all championship games through 2022.
We've already seen March Madness games this year moved from Greensboro to South Carolina. If nothing is done, there will be no games here for a good, long while.
NDC: Finally what does this mean for the other House Bill 2 repeal bills already introduced in the General Assembly?
TB: Moore said those efforts have stalled out. Which is why, the speaker said, he was pushing this new plan.
You can listen to Speaker Tim Moore's full press conference here: