Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC) is expected to sign a bill (HB 142) today that is being promoted as a compromise on North Carolina’s HB2 (“bathroom bill”) controversy. It leaves regulation of bathrooms in the control of the State of North Carolina, with local governments barred from passing their own anti-discrimination laws until December 2020. In so doing, he has broken promises that he made to the LGBTQ community during the campaign and effectively condoned the Republican Party’s bigotry. This was done for no other reason than to appease the NCAA (and NBA) and make North Carolina eligible for college championship events (and the NBA All-Star Game).
The NCAA and NBA should see through this feeble attempt and refuse to award events to North Carolina. Even if they don’t, this new law will not bring back the events already lost by North Carolina or make right the money lost by our economy. It also will likely not convince those boycotting North Carolina that our government’s position has changed. Why? Because the bill doesn’t truly repeal HB2 and is, in truth, no compromise at all. Transgendered people are still banned from using public accommodations that correspond with their gender identity. And that’s just as wrong now as it was when the HB2 was passed in the first place. A full repeal was the only acceptable end to this dispute.
Phil Berger and his minions have over 3-1/2 years to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation, which will, of course, trump anything that local governments might want to do on their own (when allowed to do so in 2020). And you can bet that they’ll pass those laws.
I keep coming back to one fundamental thing: HB2 was wholly unnecessary. For some reason, Republicans believe that LGBTQ individuals cannot keep their hands to themselves. Despite no evidence of attacks by transgendered people in restrooms, they still felt HB2 was needed. In fact, a transgendered person is far more likely to be attacked than to be the perpetrator of an attack.
And for a political party that claims to believe in smaller government to be concerned enough about who urinates where that they pass a law is ridiculous. Don’t we have more important things to worry about?
The basis for HB2 and laws like it appears to be that most Republicans believe that gender identity and sexual preference are choices made by the individual. Simply put, they are not. Until Republicans remove their heads from their asses on this, anti-LGBTQ legislation will continue to be introduced in this country. And right-thinking people (as opposed to Right-thinking people) will continue to fight it.