North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that they came to a settlement in a federal lawsuit over the state’s controversial bathroom law.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit asked a judge to approve a settlement that would allow transgender individuals to use the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity in certain government-run facilities.
Cooper also issued an executive order that prevents Cabinet-level departments from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
If the judge approves the consent decree, the plaintiffs will drop the lawsuit. Republican lawmakers are likely to oppose the measure.
“We wouldn’t feel comfortable weighing in before our general counsel has had a chance to review these filings,” said a spokeswoman for the State Senate president pro tempore.
The move comes more than six months after the state Legislature voted to repeal House Bill 2, which required people in public and government buildings to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender listed on their birth certificate. The law also made it more difficult for local municipalities to enact antidiscrimination policies.
The repeal bill gave the General Assembly the ability to regulate access to multiple-occupancy showers, bathrooms and changing facilities in North Carolina.
“Earlier this year, I said there was more work to do to protect against discrimination and make North Carolina a welcoming state,” said Cooper in a statement. “Today’s executive order and consent decree are important steps toward fighting discrimination and enacting protections throughout state government and across our state.”
The order will affect 55,000 state employees and 3,000 vendors with up to $1.5 billion in contracts.
The General Assembly could pass a law that would cancel the executive order. Legislators in Raleigh left on Tuesday and will not return for another three months.
The order has been met with a lukewarm response from gay rights advocates.