Just weeks after he signed HB 2, which covered transgender bathroom access, on April 12, North Carolina Governor Pat McCory signed an Executive Order clarifying and apparently attempting to repeal certain aspects of the law. In his public statement about the Order, the Governor said he had listened to feedback about the Act and decided to take action “to affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality.”

The Executive Order does the following:

  1. Maintains “common sense” gender-specific restroom and locker room facilities in government buildings and schools. This means that in those state facilities, single-sex bathrooms are only to be used by persons of the same sex as indicated on their birth certificates.
  2. Affirms the private sector’s right to establish its own restroom and locker room policies.
  3. Affirms the private sector and local government’s right to establish non-discrimination employment policies for its own employees. This does NOT mean that a local government can regulate private employers in the EEO area.
  4. Expands the state’s employment policy to cover sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes for state employees.
  5. Seeks legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination.

This Executive Order goes into place immediately.

There is a movement in Mississippi to repeal HB 1523, the similar bill based on “religious beliefs”, but the procedural hurdles may be too high for that move to be effective.