We don’t know if it was the worry that North Carolina would lose jobs, the NCAA would no longer allow tournament games to be played in this state, or if The Boss and Ringo Starr would forever freeze-out this state as a concert venue, but something inspired Gov. Pat McCrory to order a plate of humble pie and begin what we think will be a comprehensive rollback of House Bill 2.
Perhaps it was all of the above — and then some.
There has been no shortage of outrage, real and contrived, over the legislation that lawmakers passed and McCrory signed in a single day last month to circumvent a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed folks to pick the bathroom that they felt fit their perceived gender. And it really doesn’t matter if that outrage was well-aimed or not, or whether it was selective and hypocritical, it is clear that this state was beginning to suffer — and not only its image. Real damage has been done, and more was promised.
It is a sad and painful lesson of the power of economics to bend a position.
Recently, McCrory spoke: “After listening to people’s feedback for the past several weeks on this issue, I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, a lot of passion and frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy, especially against the great state of North Carolina. Based upon this feedback, I am taking action to affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality.”
There is certainly confusion over HB2, not only among those who favor and oppose it, but among those who voted to make it law. That’s not a good way to legislate.
If lawmakers want to keep people who are born male out of the women’s bathroom, and people who are born female out of the men’s bathroom, more narrow legislation could have been crafted to that end.
We are headed toward a future when in public places there will be men’s and women’s bathrooms, as well as those that are open to everyone, but North Carolina is likely to be at the end of that line.
McCrory issued an executive order on April 12 that attempts to keep intact the bathroom rule as it relates to public facilities, but reaffirms the right for private businesses to establish their own bathroom and locker-room policies. The order expands the state’s equal employment policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity, but leaves a provision that local governments may not pass broader non-discrimination or minimum wage policies for their communities than what HB2 outlined.
Can someone explain again why bathroom use and the minimum wage are part of the same house bill?
Predictably, the ACLU wasn’t satisfied, saying in a statement: “Efforts to divide the LGBT community by extending limited protections but leaving in place the rules mandating discrimination against the transgender community will only strengthen our resolve to fight back against this discriminatory and misguided legislative action. We call on Gov. McCrory and the North Carolina legislature to repeal House Bill 2 and replace it with full non-discrimination protections for all LGBT people.”
In a nutshell, the ACLU, as well as the gay rights community, won’t be satisfied until HB2 is fully repealed. Anything less will keep their feathers ruffled.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.” (Leonard Nimoy)