Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

A New Low: NC Law Legalizes Discrimination Against LGBT Individuals

with 12 comments

Folks, I am really steamed right now.

A few days ago (March 23, 2016, to be exact), the Governor of North Carolina, Republican Pat McCrory, signed into law a bill that’s so widespread in its ability to legally discriminate against LGBT people, it defies belief.

Why?

Here’s what this bill, called HB 2, allows for in North Carolina according to the Huffington Post:

North Carolina’s General Assembly voted Wednesday to block cities and counties from passing protections against LGBT discrimination in a wide-ranging bill that could have enormous implications for the state.

HB 2, which passed in a special session, would set a statewide anti-discrimination policy, banning employers and businesses from discriminating against employees or customers based on their race, color, country of origin, religion, age or “biological sex.” The bill offers no protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and prevents local governments from passing any nondiscrimination policy that goes beyond the statewide standard.

The bill also pre-empts local employment ordinances governing wages, benefits, employee protections and leave policies. It would prevent schools from allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

OK. So, it’s now legal in North Carolina to discriminate against LGBT people.

Have they all lost their flippin’ minds?

“But Barb,” you say. “This happened over a week ago. Why are you only talking about it now?”

Well, remember my last post? About how I was dealing with an illness in the family, and the whole “temporary lapse of blogging” thing?

“Yeah, I do. So what? Why bring it up now?”

Aside from the fact that this law deeply offends me as a human being, news broke yesterday (March 30, 2016) that there is a sports league that could be potentially affected by this law — and that league is the National Basketball Association. Next year, Charlotte is supposed to host the NBA All-Star Game, and has been looking forward to doing so for quite some time.

But now, because of this terrible new law, the NBA might have to pull their All-Star Game out of Charlotte. That means much revenue could potentially be lost, and some people will probably lose their jobs — all because of the idiots in the NC Legislature who thought it was a good idea to pass the terribly offensive law, HB 2.

You see, the NBA has perhaps been the most proactive league in professional sports on behalf of LGBT rights. They are acutely aware of this for several reasons: Jason Collins came out as gay while still an active NBA player a few years ago (he’s since retired), a referee has recently come out as gay, several teams have made supportive videos on behalf of LGBT youth, and at least one team, the Boston Celtics, has already condemned the actions of the North Carolina Legislature (save for all the Democratic state Senators, who walked out, and most of the Democrats in the NC lower house, who voted against HB 2).

By all accounts, the NBA is taking a good, long, hard look at North Carolina right now, even though Charlotte — the city — had passed anti-discrimination laws that HB 2 wiped off the books. And even though Charlotte is steamed, and North Carolina’s own Attorney General says he’s going to refuse to enforce HB 2 (good for him!), the NBA is not at all happy with what Gov. McCrory has done by refusing to veto this bill.

Because that’s exactly what Gov. McCrory should’ve done — veto this piece of trash. There is no legitimate excuse for discrimination against anyone. Period.

At all. Ever.

And lest you think the Governor of North Carolina was only doing his job, think again: Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, also a Republican, vetoed a similar law only two days ago.

And Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia, vetoed an anti-LGBT bill this week as well, calling it “nothing but an attempt to stigmatize” the LGBT community.

So, it is possible for a public servant — which is exactly what a duly-elected Governor of any state is supposed to be — to do the right thing, and stand against discrimination.

So, why didn’t Gov. McCrory do what Gov. Deal did, or Gov. McAuliffe? Simple. Gov. McCrory appears to be pandering to the hard-right. Either that, or he actually believes that allowing transgender women into ladies’ bathrooms is tantamount to allowing pedophilia. (No. Really. This was an argument I heard on CNBC the other day from the state’s Lieutenant Governor, a pipsqueak of a man whose name escapes me.)

Look. I’m a woman. I’ve been one all my life. I have no problems with allowing transgender women into the ladies’ room right along with me. I don’t think they’re going to do anything except use the facilities, touch up their hair, maybe their makeup (if they’re wearing any; maybe they’re like me and don’t care for it much), wash their hands and get out of there.

Or to put it another, more emphatic way: Whether you’re a straight woman, like me, a lesbian woman, or a transgender woman, when you’re in a bathroom, all you want to do is take care of your business and get the Hell out of there.

As I said in my title, this horrible bill, North Carolina’s HB 2, is a new low in American politics. Gov. McCrory should be ashamed of himself for signing this travesty of a bill.

Discrimination should not be tolerated. Ever. Period!

End rant.

——

Edited to add: There already is a lawsuit underway in North Carolina against this bill. I hope HB 2 gets struck down very quickly, and that Charlotte can re-institute its anti-discrimination bill ASAP.

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12 Responses

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  1. A few thoughts pre coffee.

    One, too often when I hear the LGBT lobby scream “discrimination”, I think about Liberals who use “racist”, “fascist”, etc at the drop of the hat in order to shut up people who don’t agree with them.

    Two, one aspect of the NC law concerning “bathroom” use is about not allowing people with penises who “claim” to be women to enter bathrooms/shower rooms used by women. IE do you want an unaltered male to walk in naked when you are taking a shower?

    Third, much of the Georgia bill was to allow people to not engage in business that violates their religious view. Note, part of the bill was to protect clergy from being forced to marry gays. Sorry if it offends you, but I think “forcing clergy to marry gays” or “forcing bakers to create a gay wedding cake” violates Religious Freedom.

    Too often, Lefties believe in “Religious Freedom For Me, But Not For You”.

    Quite frankly if there comes a time when LGBT folks start getting murdered in large numbers, it will be because they (or their Lobby) have gone too far in forcing people to “approve”. I’d hate that happening, but the way the LGBT Lobby is pushing I see it as terribly possible.

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    March 31, 2016 at 7:41 am

    • Thanks for the discussion, Paul. I know this is a hot-button issue for many, I know you disagree with me, and I respect your civility quite a bit.

      I know there are religious orders/sects that do not approve of what they call “the gay lifestyle.” (That some human beings have been born attracted to their own sex since the dawn of time is known; some still don’t like to think about that, however.)

      To my mind, there was a much simpler way to go about all of this if there truly was an objection along the lines of what you’re discussing, Paul — family restrooms. I know that as a broad-shouldered woman, I used to get stared at sometimes when _I_ went into the women’s restroom (particularly when I was young and reasonably thin), despite the fact that I’ve always been “curvy.” (Larger hips, in other words.) So if people could stare at _me_, I can sympathize with someone who’s gone through surgery and become the gender they have always felt like but didn’t have for whatever reason at birth.

      Mind, _I_ was directed to a family restroom on more than one occasion when I was younger. (Madison, WI, had them early on, and I did my first few years of college there.) Did I feel weird about that? Yes, but not weird enough that I wouldn’t go and perform my ablutions there.

      As for religious freedom…I think civil marriages must be performed. Religious groups can and often do refuse to marry LGBT individuals depending on their belief set. Islam in particular takes a dim view of homosexuality and absolutely, positively does not understand transgender people at all — even though one reason we have what seems like a plethora of them is because of how many more people we have on this Earth than ever before. (Native Americans, for example, understood transgender individuals or folks who didn’t conform to expected gender norms at any rate; some men stayed in the wigwam and raised kids, while some women went out and hunted. And it seems that no one looked down on these unusual individuals, either…we all could learn from that.)

      I think we all need to work together and figure out a way to go forward…but this NC bill will not further the discussion. It is too extreme and will have all sorts of consequences; I have to believe by the way that bill was designed that these consequences are deliberate rather than unintended, which is what truly raised my ire.

      And again, Paul — sometimes bills like this have one shred of something that makes a bit of sense in it, to camouflage the truly abhorrent stuff. No court in the US is going to force a Muslim clergyman to marry two men, or two women, either…but “affirming this right” or some such rhetoric is being used by the extremely hard-right in order to attempt to roll back hard-won LGBT rights.

      I have a transgender/gender fluid cousin, I have several transgender friends, I’ve known many bisexual, gay, and lesbian people in my lifetime, and they are all wonderful, interesting, and vital people. It angers me that anyone would be allowed to legally discriminate against them in housing, education, and employment — which this bill does, in addition to the religious fig-leaf part. (That bothers me, but see what I said before.)

      Paul, I hope people will eventually be able to see others for who they are: other people.

      Barb Caffrey

      March 31, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      • Sadly, the LGBT lobby doesn’t see others as what they are “other people”.

        I’ve seen too much garbage from the LGBT lobby.

        When the LGBT lobby approves of “suing Bakers for the crime of not creating a gay wedding cake”, it doesn’t give people a “warm and fuzzy feeling” about gays.

        What’s so hard about finding another Baker to create that wedding cake?

        I guess Religious Bakers aren’t People.

        Note, I really wonder if you have seen those laws or are you just taking the word of the LGBT lobby that they’re evil.

        I don’t trust the LGBT Lobby to tell the truth and I don’t trust the News Media to print the truth.

        There is always another side to any argument and I’m afraid that too many pro-LGBTers aren’t interested in the other side.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        March 31, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      • Paul, I read the law. The entire law. I don’t comment on something until I’ve read it and pondered it, which is why I didn’t say anything last week — I couldn’t find enough time to turn around, much less ponder a law that makes me so angry and try to see if there’s any merit to it.

        Just remember — there’s two different parts to this law. Upholding religious freedom is one thing. Most people, including me, do not argue with that — I don’t think a Muslim cleric should have to marry two men if that cleric doesn’t think he should. I don’t think a Christian cleric, if he or she does not believe he can join two people together, should have to marry anyone either — including mismatched straight couples. (I’ve heard of ministers turning down straight couples, too. It’s just not talked about much.)

        But actively discriminating in employment, in housing, in education? Why do it? Why do you think that backward thinking is going to help your state?

        That’s what I truly object to — and while I think anyone of sound mind should be able to marry anyone else of whatever sex or gender providing that person is of sound mind and is not too closely related to them, I’m not arguing against a baker saying, “No, I’m not going to make a cake,” because the free market can correct that one soon enough.

        I am arguing against discrimination. That’s what bothers me.

        This law does both things, Paul. And it’s wrong. There’s a way to frame the argument to reaffirm religious freedom of expression without discriminating against people in housing, education and employment. And while I, personally, would not like it if someone refused to sell me a wedding cake if I were LGBT, I’d never sue over it — why waste my time? I’d go find someone else, and then tell everyone I knew to patronize the new person (who did a fabulous job for me)?

        Barb Caffrey

        March 31, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      • “Backward Thinking”.

        That’s a very nice way of saying “You have no business arguing”.

        No, I don’t think you intended it that way but that’s a way it could be taken. 😦

        My position is simple, the Biggest Enemies of LGBT folks are the people claiming to act in their defense.

        There’s a difference between “disapproval” and “hatred” but the actions of the LGBT lobby are more likely to turn “disapproval into hatred” than they are to turn “disapproval into acceptance”.

        You may be correct about the North Carolina Law but I’ve heard too much bigotry from “defenders” of LGBT folks.

        I pity the vast majority of LGBT folks as I can believe that they just want to live their live peacefully and as I said the “defenders of LGBT folks” are doing more to create real Hatred than they are to create Acceptance.

        Have a nice day. 😀

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        March 31, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      • Paul, I agree with you that there’s a huge difference between disapproval and hatred.

        🙂

        Thanks for coming by and commenting civilly. I know we don’t agree on most of this, but that’s OK. 😀

        Barb Caffrey

        March 31, 2016 at 5:36 pm

  2. Barb, it’s just a political ploy by the government of NC to appear like they’re doing something. The Supreme Court has already ruled on this issue and will throw it out as unconstitutional.

    To Americans everywhere, take a look at Canada. We made it legal for LGBT to marry and have the same rights as the rest of us more than 20 years ago. Last time I checked, the world didn’t end.

    I’ll leave you with this quote from John Lennon…

    “All I’m saying is give peace a chance.”

    MRS N, the Author

    March 31, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    • IMO it’s the LGBTers who need to “give peace a chance”. Maybe your Canadian LGBTers are “nice people”, but there are too many asshole LGBTers in the US.

      Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      March 31, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      • Oh, and as for the news media? You’re right that they’re often slanted. But you have to keep in mind, Paul, that any law that discriminates against people or can be caused to allow discrimination against people is flat wrong. (In housing, education, and employment, and by the government…it’s utterly, utterly wrong, and it’s not acceptable.)

        With the folks wanting to bake cakes only for Christian straight people, or Muslim straight people (there have been a number of those cases, too, but they don’t seem to get airplay for whatever reason), or whatnot, well…as I said, I would rather let the free market handle that.

        And unfortunately, there are obnoxious people of all sizes, shapes, gender expressions and sexes…

        (BTW, most of this comment was inaccurately posted at the MGC because WordPress did something _very_ odd and jumped windows without notice. I asked them to pull down my comment over there. I hope they do.)

        Barb Caffrey

        March 31, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      • Sorry Barb, but I see more “whining” about discrimination than real discrimination and I see more willingness to “Beat Up On People That Disagree” than anything else.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        March 31, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      • I’ve seen a lot of that, too, Paul. I dislike it. There’s no way to converse if we don’t talk about what bothers us.

        In this case, there will be real discrimination allowed if this law stands. That’s why I got really upset. I am against discrimination, whether it’s a poor Sikh kid being told he shouldn’t wear his ritual dagger in the public school because it’s somehow viewed as a hazard to others (it’s not!) or LGBT individuals being treated like this.

        But the only way we can _ever_ get to a civil conversation is to first freely talk about where we are. Saying that everyone should be one way or another will *never* work, and will only make people get more entrenched in the positions they already have.

        I keep meaning to post about the need to challenge your own assumptions from time to time. I try to do this frequently; I don’t want my mind to get to be rigid and inflexible.

        I mean, I watch all the different news organizations regularly, and I try to see all sides if at all possible.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 31, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    • I agree that it surely looks unconstitutional. I don’t think it can stand. But the idea of it disgusts me.

      I’m glad Canada is forward-thinking, Mrs. N. 😀

      Barb Caffrey

      March 31, 2016 at 5:11 pm


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