RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina General Assembly House Democrats held a press conference in Raleigh Thursday morning, introducing a new bill to repeal House Bill 2.
There is already a repeal bill in the Senate, but this bill introduced by Guilford County Representatives Pricey Harrison and Cecil Brockman would take the repeal a step further.
The bill would specifically add what’s called a “protected status” which is defined by the bill as “a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, or genetic information.”
The bill also increases penalties for crimes committed in “changing facilities” defined by the bill as “a facility designed or designated to be used by a person in various states of undress and that is open to the public or located in a place of public accommodation as defined in G.S. 168A-3(8). The term includes but is not limited to, a restroom, locker room, changing room, or shower room.”
It would increase minimum sentencing for first-degree forcible rape, second-degree forcible rape and taking indecent liberties with children or students in changing facilities by 84 months, 60 months and 36 months in prison, respectively.
Rep. Cecil Brockman released a statement on the bill Thursday morning:
H.B. 2 has been a disaster since day one for North Carolina. It was predicated on fear and paranoia toward an already marginalized community and led to enormous economic loss. It is well past time that we have a full repeal of this discriminatory bill and start moving forward.
My bill will enact real protections for North Carolinians by increasing penalties for sexual crimes while also adding the LGBT community to statewide non-discrimination laws. One of my goals is to meet my Republican colleagues at their concerns. Anybody who is serious about protecting our citizens and repairing our state’s economy and image should support this bill.
FOX8 has reached out to Sen. Phil Berger for comment.
Greensboro Representative Pricey Harrison spoke Monday to FOX8 about the bill:
— Alex Rose (@AlexRoseNews) February 6, 2017