I’m a married, heterosexual male and I like it that way. But my gosh, I cannot believe the discrimination against the LGBT community, and against transgender individuals in particular, that still exists in this modern day and age. It makes no sense to me whatever.
There are undoubtedly some who remain unpersuaded by arguments for tolerance based on love. In other words, there will always be some who prefer to hate. I thought things had begun to change, perhaps only because that’s how it looks on the surface when political correctness drives ugly attitudes underground. So it’s disappointing to me when the black crud deep in some of our hearts shows up in the light of day.
That’s exactly what happened in North Carolina last week when the legislature rammed through House Bill 2 and the governor quickly signed it into law. As my mother would say, “you should be ashamed of yourselves!”
HB 2 is North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act. Broadly, the law bans local governments, such as cities and counties, from enacting nondiscrimination laws. Only the state can do that now. The true purpose of the law was to void Charlotte’s city ordinance that allowed anyone to use the rest rooms and changing rooms of the gender with which he or she identifies. Indeed, HB 2 specifically provides that people may only use public rest rooms assigned to their biological sex, defined as “the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.”
So what does this mean for those transitioning to the opposite gender in North Carolina? They can be arrested for using a public rest room reserved for the gender with which they identify. Even those who have fully transitioned risk arrest unless they have had their birth certificates changed.
I am proud to say that I haven’t darkened North Carolina’s door in more than 20 years. I hope I never do so again. I find HB 2 to be full of hate, blatantly discriminatory and, most of all, devoid of common sense. The yahoos in North Carolina’s state government think just the opposite, as is evidenced by Gov. Pat McCrory’s tweet to the effect that he had to stop Charlotte’s ordinance because it “defied common sense.”
I’m pretty sure that I’d be thrown in the slammer if ever I visited North Carolina. As a man who, thanks to an unfortunate genetic condition, has breasts, I fully expect a fellow user of the men’s room to run out screaming and call the cops to arrest me for daring to use the “wrong” rest room. I guess I’d have to walk around carrying my birth certificate as proof of my gender. Of course, I could just drop my pants, but even that wouldn’t satisfy the requirements of the law.
A note to the sane Democrats in the North Carolina Senate: We appreciate your good intentions, but it really did not do anyone a bit of good to walk out in protest and allow Republican bigots to unanimously approve this bill. Yes, we know you would have lost anyway, but at least we’d have your “nay” votes on record.
In defending the law, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore referred to the need to protect women from sexual predators who would show up in the women’s rest room if Charlotte and likeminded cities were permitted to enact equal access rest room ordinances. After all, we know that all sexual predators are men and that they will uniformly take the opportunity to claim that they are transitioning from male to female and identify as women for the sole purpose of stalking women in various states of undress. I suppose this is borne out by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s comments last year about his wishes that, back in high school, he could have claimed to identify as a woman so that he could shower in the girls’ locker room. Oh, well, boys will be boys, right? After all, as comedian Jeff Foxworthy astutely pointed out, the only things we men want to do is “drink a beer and see something naked.”
This patronizing inclination to protect women who are obviously defenseless (even in a gun-loving southern state) is a bit of gender objectification that reminds me of pre-Loving v. Virginia anti-miscegenation laws designed to protect “the flower of [white] Southern womanhood” from being sullied by black men. I fail to see the difference in gravity between discrimination on the basis of race and discrimination on the basis of gender.
It’s all about fear, of course. Hate of every stripe always is. Lack of understanding, fear of the unknown, antipathy to anyone or anything different than we are.
Hopefully, the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been quick to boo North Carolina’s deplorable shenanigans, will see to it that the federal courts find HB 2 unconstitutional. While the lawsuit is making its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, any Tar Heel State obstetrician who takes seriously the Hippocratic Oath to “first, do no harm” should commit to refusing to fill out the gender portion of any birth certificate.
That’ll royally screw up the state’s vital statistics.
North Carolina deserves nothing less.