North Carolina lawmakers reach deal to repeal transgender bathroom law

Barry Chin | The Boston Globe | Getty Images

North Carolina Republican lawmakers said late on Wednesday they had reached a deal to repeal the state's controversial law prohibiting transgender people from using restrooms in accordance with their gender identities.

Details were not released of the compromise measure, which was set for a vote on Thursday morning, Senate leader Phil Berger and House of Representatives Speaker Tim Moore said in an impromptu news conference on Wednesday night.

The compromise, which the Republican leaders said they had reached with Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, a staunch opponent of the bathroom law, was reached hours before the state was reportedly set to lose its ability to host any NCAA basketball championships.

The college athletic association is one of numerous organizations to sanction or boycott North Carolina in the wake of the law's passage last year.

Cooper said earlier this week that the measure could end up costing the state nearly $4 billion.

Details leaking out of the Capitol on Wednesday evening indicated that the measure would repeal language requiring transgender people to use bathrooms in accordance with their biological sex.

But it remained unclear whether the compromise would be acceptable to those who believe North Carolina was unfriendly to the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

In an impassioned news conference before the deal was announced, several leading LGBT activists decried rumored details.

For example, the compromise was said to prohibit cities and towns for several years from enacting their own rules to protect vulnerable groups, and that the state would retain the right to regulate bathrooms in any way, said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.