How utterly ridiculous. With the passage of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, commonly called HB2, our sex obsessed state lawmakers have once again made North Carolina the butt of jokes by comics across the country. The bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory, invalidated a Charlotte ordinance allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.
Though its supporters have described it as a law meant to protect against privacy violations and sexual perverts, a few minutes of logical thought is all it takes to determine that the bathroom provisions in HB2 are utterly meaningless. I’ve got news for our representatives who voted for this ridiculous piece of legislation: transgender individuals have been sharing bathrooms with your wives, daughters and sons for decades, and they will continue to do so. They weren’t waiting for a bill to pass into law giving them permission to use the restroom of their choice, they simply open the door and walk in. To do otherwise would be extremely awkward for all involved, as well as put transgender men and women in danger of physical assault.
Likewise, anyone deranged enough to consider sneaking into a women’s, or men’s, restroom to molest a child hasn’t been sitting around biding their time in hopes that some city, somewhere would pass an LGBT bathroom ordinance. Psychopaths don’t work that way.
The law is particularly ironic given what’s recently come to light about the despicable pedophile Dennis Hastert, the former Republican Speaker of the House and rabid anti-gay legislation advocate who federal prosecutors say molested at least four young boys when he worked as a high school wrestling coach.
But, of course, HB2 was never really about peeking into the state’s public restrooms and up the skirts of her citizens. It was about asserting control over local governments who may not fall in line with the Republican majority of our state’s General Assembly.
In a truly reptile-level bit of chicanery reminiscent of the time they attached anti-abortion restrictions to a motorcycle safety bill, lawmakers added provisions to HB2 that prevent cities and counties from adopting their own anti-discrimination ordinances and prohibits them from imposing such policies on contractors. Additionally, it eliminates the ability to sue an employer in state court for discriminatory firing and prevents local municipalities from setting their own minimum wage rates.
When a legislative body is willing to put its states absolutely essential federal education funding in jeopardy, not to mention risk losing hundreds of jobs and millions in state revenue from technology corporations and entertainment ventures, it raises serious questions about those individuals fitness to hold public office.
A certain percentage of our Republican-led General Assembly seem to see themselves as some kind of bulwark against the godless march of technological innovation and progressive thought. In 2016, there’s simply no room for that kind of anachronistic thinking among our governing bodies.
Our elderly state lawmakers need to educate themselves about the world they live in. It is not, and never will be again, the same one that they grew up in. Gone are the days when backroom deals and regressive legislation could remain merely a provincial concern. These issues are no longer local, they’re global and whether they like it or not, the whole world is watching.