Clay Aiken voiced his support for a deal North Carolina lawmakers reached on Thursday (March 30) to repeal the state's controversial HB2 "bathroom bill" that limited transgender peoples' rights to use restrooms matching their gender identity.
"Never underestimate the power of college basketball in the state of #NC - So long #HB2 #HB2Repeal," Aiken tweeted after the state's House passed the bill 70-48 and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed it into law.
Aiken is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, and was the 2014 Democratic nominee in the state's 2nd congressional district election.
Never underestimate the power of college basketball in the state of #NC - So long #HB2 #HB2Repeal
- Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) March 30, 2017
When HB2 was passed last March under former Gov. Pat McCrory, it received a massive political and financial backlash that included a face-off between the basketball-loving state and the NCAA.
The NCAA responded to the bill, saying it would not allow North Carolina to host college championship games through 2022, unless changes were made to the law by Thursday.
The bill that passed on Thursday was only a partial repeal of the bill and has left LGBTQ and civil rights advocates unsatisfied. While it eliminates rules about restroom usage, it includes a three-year ban on the local nondiscrimination ordinances that were the cause for HB2's passing last year when Charlotte sought to expand protection for trans people. Lawmakers claim will provide time for ongoing your cases on transgender issues to resolve themselves.
Cooper said the new law is "not a perfect deal and it is not my preferred solution," but claimed it was all he could pass with the state's Republican-controlled legislature.
A number of LGBTQ and civil rights groups and advocates have spoken out against what some are calling a "fake repeal," including the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal.
We call on @NCAA a to stand with us and transgender people and against discrimination. Don't settle for this fake repeal. #RepealHB2
- ACLU National (@ACLU) March 30, 2017