North Carolina legislature replaces transgender bathroom law
FILE PHOTO - A bathroom sign welcomes both genders at the Cacao Cinnamon coffee shop in Durham, North Carolina, United States on May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake/File Photo

North Carolina's Senate and House on Thursday approved a bill to retool a law banning transgender people from using restrooms in accordance with their gender identities, hoping to bring back companies and sports leagues that had boycotted the state.


However, civil rights advocates roundly criticized the compromise measure. And it was not immediately clear whether businesses and the athletic leagues would reverse their boycotts of the Southern state, whose law had been viewed as discriminating against transgender people.

Late on Wednesday, leaders of the Republican-dominated Senate and House of Representatives said they had reached a compromise with Democratic Governor Roy Cooper to scrap the year-old law requiring transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding with the sex on their birth certificate - the only one of its kind in the United States.

In separate votes on Thursday, the Senate, then the House approved the measure to repeal that law.

However, the measure bans cities from passing any nondiscrimination laws until 2020. Civil rights groups opposed the deal because of that provision.

(Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Jonathan Oatis)