Cutting through the Crap and the mass Hysteria over North Carolina's HB2 Bill and Charlotte's Potty Ordinance!

Recently the North Carolina Governor and legislators passed the controversial "HB2 Bill" (you can read the full bill here).  The bill overturns a recent city ordinance in Charlotte, NC which allowed transgender individuals access to the restroom of their choice on publicly owned property, and made LGBT individuals a special protected class of individuals within the city limits, granting them additional civil rights protections that are not specifically granted to them by the state.

There has been a lot of uproar and anger over this bill.  The legislation is considered so awful, one would think Donald Trump wrote and approved this bill.

The LGBT lobby and Charlotte City Council (with mayor Jennifer Roberts) has whipped up the media into a frenzy over the perceived attack on the LGBT community and their civil rights.  Opposition to the bill has created a lot of made for TV drama, which the media has pounced on with great vigor, as it makes for great ratings and internet click-bait.

Petitions have been circulated in which major corporations CEO's, such as those at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Facebook, Apple, have signed, expressing their concerns over the HB2 ordinance.  A lot of companies have threatened to take some of their future business elsewhere because of this legislation, which is considered a "step backwards" for LGBT civil rights in the state of North Carolina.  The legislation is considered hurtful, hateful, bigoted, and something that may potentially cripple the economy of North Carolina.

That's a lot of rhetoric to digest.  Now, let's cut through the crap.

Here are some problems I have with the HB2 Legislation, the Charlotte city ordinance. and a lot of the rhetoric/hysteria I see on both sides of the issue:

1) The only possibly negative thing the HB2 legislation actually does is take away the power of local cities in North Carolina to draft their own civil rights ordinances, and makes that as something that can only be done at the state level.  As a conservative leaning individual, I actually find this part of the HB2 bill somewhat troubling, as I believe in the rights of local government to make whatever laws they deem fit.  The city of Charlotte should reserve the right and power to create any ordinance it wishes dictating who can pee where.  Such power shouldn't be stripped away by the bigger state government.  Such an idea is actually anti-conservative, which is ironic considering it was legislation passed by an allegedly conservative leaning Republican government.

2) The LGBT crowd still has all the exact same rights they have always had in North Carolina.  This is simply true, no matter how much somebody may hee-and-haw over the HB2 bill.  LGBT individuals have had the same rights they've always had in North Carolina.  Some might not consider this much, but the truth is, they have the same rights as all their heterosexual neighbors have.  Period. End of story.  Anybody who says otherwise is simply lying.

3) The Charlotte City ordinance actually made transgender individuals a special protected class, giving them "more rights" than their non-transgender neighbors.  Now, this is something that is lost on many.  The city of Charlotte granted transgender individuals the right to use the bathroom of their preferred gender identity.  But in doing this, they were granting some of its citizens rights not afforded to others.  It allows transgender individuals to use the public restroom of their choice, which is not a right afforded to non-transgender individuals. Such is actually reverse discrimination.  If transgender individuals are reserved the right to use the bathroom of their choice, then non-transgender individuals must be afforded the same right.

4) Heterosexuals and the LGBT community were actually in the same discriminatory boat!  Prior to the city ordinance passed by Charlotte, a business could refuse to serve you or let you work at their establishment on the basis of your sexual orientation.  So, if you were gay, and somebody didn't want to do business with you because you were gay, they reserved that right.  You could be fired from your job for being gay.  But likewise, under the law, a business could refuse to do business with you because you were straight!  Under the Charlotte city ordinance, businesses could no longer consider your orientation a factor in their decision to serve you as a customer or employ you as an employee.  However, in saying this, one must realize, the knife cut both ways.  Without the city ordinance, businesses reserve the right to continue to discriminate against those who they do business with on the basis of their sexual orientation, no matter which direction that orientation swings, whether gay or straight.   Now that the ordinance has been struck down, your employer could fire you for being gay... but they could also fire you for being straight. And while it is very unlikely either is to ever happen, it could happen.  North Carolina is an "at will" employment state, meaning an employer can refuse to employ you for just about any reason at all (except over protected issues, like race and religion).  

5) Big corporations are engaging in very selective ethics. In reality, many are moral cowards only looking to make a buck.  A lot of big businesses have come out and voiced their opposition to the ordinance.  They've suddenly become civil rights leaders.  But make no mistake, they are only doing such for two reasons:   One, it's a great PR stunt, in which they get to stand before the cameras as champions of LGBT civil rights.  Second, they are scared to death to not oppose HB2, as the LGBT lobby is quite powerful, and these businesses are afraid of what would happen to their profit margins and stock prices if they were seen as being on the wrong side of a very public and personal policy debate.  In truth, many of these corporations are being hypocrites and moral cowards. Most probably don't care about anybody's civil rights, which is why many corporations such as Apple and Facebook, happily engage in business relationships with countries like China, a nation that is a gross violator of civil liberties of everybody everywhere, and these CEO's gladly turn a blind eye to the plight of the people there... because at the end of the day, they just want to make a buck, and will gladly do business with countries like China, never mind how they actively oppress billions of people.

6) North Carolina's economy isn't going to go belly up anytime soon because of this legislation.  In spite of the Charlotte Observer and Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts practically begging businesses to threaten to leave North Carolina over the HB2 bill (they need the leverage), the truth of the matter is that very few will do so.  North Carolina remains the same state the day it was before Charlotte passed it's city ordinance, and it is the same state since the HB2 bill struck it down.  Everybody still has the same rights they've always had.  And the state remains the same attractive place for businesses to do business, which is why it's population and economy has boomed over the last few decades.  Yes, a few businesses may limit their involvement in the economy of North Carolina in very selective ways.  But such will probably only be temporary and short term in nature, and very few dollars will be lost from North Carolina as a result.  For once the issue runs its length through the courts, and the hysterical attitude of some groups dies down in the media, then everything will return to normal, and will be as it was before.  I'd be willing to bet good money that North Carolina's economy continues to grow over the next several years, regardless of what happens around this legislation.  Why?  Because as I pointed out above, most businesses are going to continue to do what is best for their profit margins and stock prices, because they really don't care all that much about civil rights of anybody.  They mostly care about making money, and will engage in whatever activity allows them to make the most.

7) There isn't anything to be afraid of in the bathroom! The city ordinance was unnecessary to begin with, and so is the fear over children being sexually assaulted.  While it seems to be statistically true that transgender individuals might be a little bit safer by using the bathroom of the gender they identify with, such protections as granted under the Charlotte city ordinance are entirely unnecessary.  We already have laws against assault and battery.  It's a crime to attack somebody simply because they dress differently than other people and appear to be in the wrong bathroom... or any other reason. Therefore, transgender individuals are already protected under the law, just like everybody else is, and allowing them to use the bathroom of their choice is not necessary.  Likewise, the hysteria of some groups who worry about women and children being sexually exploited in the bathroom by a pervert is unnecessary, as we also already have laws against such things as well.  And while it may also create a safer environment to keep individuals of the opposite sex out of your bathroom, let's not forget that people are much more likely to be sexually exploited by somebody they know and trust than they are a random stranger in the bathroom.  The fears of both groups simply aren't based in reality, and are far too melodramatic.  and in my opinion, the odds of anybody ever being assaulted for any reason in a public bathroom are so low that no politician should be concerned over the issue from a public policy and safety perspective.  The bathroom just isn't that dangerous of a place, no matter who uses it.

8) There isn't anything in the Bible that says who should pee where!  It may come as a shock to some of my fellow Christians, but there isn't anything in the Bible that says that bathrooms must be gender specific.  So, seriously, simmer down on the rhetoric and the outrage.  It's entirely unnecessary, and you aren't standing up for Jesus by crying out against transgender individuals and which bathroom they should or should not use.  You are actually making Jesus and yourself look bad.  Personally, I think public restrooms should discriminate on the basis of one's personal plumbing, but I believe that such is simply as a matter of common decency and privacy that should be afforded to each gender in using common public restrooms.  And such is simply my personal opinion.  I don't claim it's the opinion of Jesus.

In my final opinion on the matter, if both sides cannot ultimately agree over this issue, then public restrooms need to be made completely gender neutral, with privacy dividers that completely separate each stall, so nobody has to worry about seeing anything they don't want to see or have anybody else see.  It's really very simple.  That way nobody feels discriminated against, and nobody has to worry about their public safety, or in anyway being violated.

Of course, as a guy, that's really going to stink for me, as I enjoy the quick moving lines at sporting events and other venues.  But I would rather have that than the mass hysteria we are seeing in public. This is definitely not an issue worth coming unglued over.  And I would really like to see both sides hash this issue out in a much more respectful way, without employing hateful rhetoric, or threatening economic sanctions against the state of North Carolina.  North Carolina is actually a great place to live, work, and play.  It's a state that is friendly for Christians, transgender individuals, straight people, and homosexuals.

If you think otherwise, something is seriously wrong with your noggin.

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