By Mark Binker
Raleigh, N.C. — A year ago, Madeline Goss rushed from work to testify before a North Carolina General Assembly committee against legislation that would become known House Bill 2.
Goss, who is raising a 10-year-old daughter and works as a manager in the software engineering business, is a transgender woman and said that, no matter what the bill said, she couldn’t go back to using the men’s room. Known in the national press as North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” House Bill 2 requires that people use the bathroom corresponding to their birth certificate when they’re in a government-owned building, such as a school, and prevents local governments from imposing bathroom rules on businesses.
“It’s unsafe for me there. People like me die there,” Goss told the committee, referring to the men’s room during the hearing.
Hours later, then-Gov. Pat McCrory signed the measure into law.
At the time, it wasn’t obvious that House Bill 2 would make North Carolina a major battlefront over transgender rights or would lead to debates about where national sports leagues play their tournaments and international businesses locate their operations. Nor was it clear that lawmakers would spend the next year trying – and repeatedly failing – to come up with some sort of rollback measure.