NBA Rejects Draft Proposal To Tweak North Carolina Anti-LGBT Law

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The National Basketball Association on Thursday said that that it does not support a draft proposal floated by North Carolina Republicans to change parts of the state’s new anti-LGBT law.

“We have been engaged in dialogue with numerous groups at the city and state levels, but we do not endorse the version of the bill that we understand is currently before the legislature,” the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets said in a statement. “We remain committed to our guiding principles of inclusion, mutual respect and equal protections for all. We continue to believe that constructive engagement with all sides is the right path forward. There has been no new decision made regarding the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.”

Legislators have not introduced a bill to amend the law, but Charlotte television station WBTV reported that Republican lawmakers are working on a proposal that would not reverse the provision in the law that keeps transgender people from using the public restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

Advocacy groups wrote a letter to the NBA on Thursday expressing concern over the draft proposal to amend the North Carolina law, known as HB2, according to Buzzfeed News.

The Human Rights Campaign, Equality North Carolina, National Center for Transgender Equality, and NAACP North Carolina wrote in the letter that “the NBA has been actively working behind closed doors to help hammer out another discriminatory bill that would exacerbate some of the worst provisions in the HB2 law targeting LGBTQ people.”

“It is easy to march alongside the LGBTQ community in a parade. But whether you stand shoulder to shoulder with us when we are under attack will be the true measure of your leadership,” the letter reads, according to Buzzfeed News.

The NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been discussing potential changes to the law with North Carolina lawmakers after hinting that the league could move its 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte due to the law. And Republican lawmakers have been working on changes to the law now that sports interests in the state have stepped up pressure.

However, it’s not clear whether lawmakers will pass any changes, and Republicans do not appear to be willing to change the most controversial portion of the law related to bathroom use by transgender people.

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