A New Low: NC Law Legalizes Discrimination Against LGBT Individuals
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.
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!
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.