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Religious Tolerance logo


The religious freedom to discriminate against
transgender persons and many others in North Carolina:

Part 11

2016-DEC to 2017-OCT:
Charlotte, NC ordinance repealed. State law
HB2 is also repealed. Governor's executive
order protects transgender persons.
Results of public opinion poll.

1

An unknown transgender woman.
She was identified as a male at birth.

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This topic is continued here from the previous essay

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On 2016-DEC-21, Charlotte City Council held another meeting and repealed the entire city ordinance, at least for a while.

However, some Republican state lawmakers defended the HB2 state law and resisted its repeal:

  • State Senator Buck Newton called the city anti-discrimination ordinance a "lunatic ordinance" enacted by "the lunatic Left." 2

  • On DEC-21, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest issued a statement saying:

    "No economic, political or ideological pressure can convince me that what is wrong is right. It will always be wrong for men to have access to women's showers and bathrooms." 2

Webmaster's comment [bias alert]:

It all comes down to how one defines gender: how does one differentiate between males and females?

Dan Forest clearly defines people's gender by their birth-identified gender and not their current gender identity and/or expression. Expressing it in physical terms, Forest defines gender on the basis of a person's genitals, not by the functioning of internal structures in their brain which, among transgender persons, typically have the design of the opposite gender. Thus, he would describe the woman pictured above to be a man. One can imagine the explosive reaction if she walked in a male washroom. Strangely, this type of reaction is rarely mentioned in the conservative political and religious media.

Some Republican lawmakers wrote amendments to the bill that had been written to repeal HB2. The new version would forbid cities from enacting or amending an ordinance that regulated access to public showers or restrooms for an interval of six months. The agreement collapsed at this point. The state Senate voted to reject the amendments. The state House adjourned without a vote.

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger said that Governor-elect:

"Roy Cooper and Senate Democrats killed the repeal. Their action (in not agreeing to the amendment) proves they only wanted a repeal in order to force radical social engineering and shared bathrooms across North Carolina, at the expense of our state’s families, our reputation and our economy." 2

By the end of 2016, a major part of the City of Charlotte's ordinance was still in effect. The state law HB 2 was active in its original form. The City of Durham was considering passing an ordinance similar to Charlotte's if HB2 was repealed. 2

Transgender individuals in the "Tar Heel state" had to choose among three unacceptable options:

  • Use the washroom associated with their birth-identified gender and risk starting a disturbance in which they might be assaulted, or

  • Violating state law HB2 and use the washroom that corresponds to their gender identity where she or he would probably blend in without any disturbance, or

  • Search for a nearby single stall or family washroom, which may not exist.

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Week of 2017-MAR-26: HB 2 is suddenly repealed due to pressure from the NCAA:

According to Wikipedia:

"The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ... regulates athletes of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations, and individuals. It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 450,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports."

Back during 2016-SEP, the NCAA had announced that it was pulling all seven championship events out of North Carolina that had been planned for the 2016-2017 academic year. They objected to state law HB 2 because it discriminates against transgender persons. 3

This week, the NCAA warned that they may decide to continue to relocate planned championship sporting events away from the state through to the year 2022 because the HB 2 law was still in place. One such event is the Division I men's basketball tournament, which generates most of the NCAA revenue; it is distributed back into funds for various organizations and institutions in North Carolina and other states.

Basketball, in particular, is of phenomenal interest to residents in North Carolina. A Google search for <north carolina tar heels men's basketball> returned over 3 million hits!

This NCAA threat apparently broke the legislative logjam. In a flurry of activity, Governor Roy Cooper (D) met with Republican leaders during the early days of the week of 2017-MAR-26, and worked out the wording of a compromise bill, HB 142. It would repeal HB 2 immediately, create a moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances in North Carolina cities through to the year 2020, and leave the future regulation of washrooms up to state lawmakers. On the morning of MAR-30, the compromise bill was presented to the Senate and passed 32 to 16. That afternoon, it was presented to Representatives in the House.

It appears that nobody in the House was particularly pleased with the wording of the repeal bill:

  • Richard Vausset, writing for the New York Times, reported that:

    "... Rep. Deb Butler [D], one of the state's few openly gay members of the legislature, said that the compromise would not ameliorate 'the stigma and suffering' associated with HB 2. [She said] 'We would rather suffer HB2 than to have this body, one more time, deny us the full and unfettered protection of the law'." 4

  • Cathryn Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign -- a leading national pro-equality LGBT agency -- said that the compromise bill would leave lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people with no statewide anti-discrimination ordinance and no ability to seek such protection from [their] local government for a number of years. She said:

    "What that means for the LGBT community is that we continue to be boxed out of nondiscrimination protections."

  • The conservative non-profit group "NC Values Coalition" asked their membership to contact their Representatives and Senators and ask them to retain HB 2 intact because then men would continue to not be allowed:

    "... into women's and little girl's bathrooms and showers."

After "fiery denunciations" by both conservative and liberal members of the House, the compromise bill HB 142 was passed 70 to 48.

The governor explained the bill to the public in a video:

  5

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Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger issues a travel ban to North Carolina for city employees:

Mayor of Burlingon -- Vermont's largest city -- has issued a travel ban that prohibits city employees from traveling to North Carolina on official business. He said:

"North Carolina’s new law does nothing to protect transgender individuals and creates a unique prohibition against municipalities taking any action to reduce discrimination. Burlington will stand with the many other cities from around the country that will continue to boycott North Carolina until the state ends this discriminatory practice." 6

Justin Haskins, writing for The Blaze, explained the current status of washroom usage by transgender persons in Norh Carolina:

"Currently, there are no state laws that grant or forbid transgender people from using the restroom of their choice. This effectively means local businesses could allow or forbid transgender people from using bathrooms not in line with their biological gender. Transgender people who choose to ignore the dictates of a business owner that requires customers to use restrooms based on biological sex could potentially be prosecuted for trespassing." 6

California, Washington State, and Chicago, IL have had travel bans for their employees which will be continuing in force. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement, saying:

"As a welcoming city for all, we are clear on our values of tolerance and inclusion, and we won’t stand by idly when discriminatory policies threaten the rights of any single group or community. Until North Carolina acknowledges the rights of the LGBTQ community and treats all individuals fairly, the City of Chicago will be taking our business elsewhere, and we encourage others to do the same." 6

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2017-OCT-18 : Governor Roy Cooper (D) signed order to protect women and minorities, including the LGBT community:

He signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination by the state government -- and companies doing business with the state. It protects persons in employment on the basis of their sex, race, color, ethnicity, National Guard or veteran status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. This level of protection is similar to that has already been implemented by the Federal Government, more than 20 states -- including Virginia and Monntana -- and more than 40 municipalities including Atlanta and Dallas.

WCNC-TV reports that:

"Governor Cooper and cabinet secretaries who were defendants in a lawsuit that challenged the provisions of HB 2 and HB 142 also submitted a consent decree. If approved by a judge, the settlement would allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice in public facilities."

That is, transgender persons could choose to use a washroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Governor Cooper said:

"Earlier this year, I said there was more work to do to protect against discrimination and make North Carolina a welcoming state. Today’s executive order and consent decree are important steps toward fighting discrimination and enacting protections throughout state government and across our state." 7

Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald, of NC Values Coalition referred to the executive order as:

"... a massive power grab, with sweeping changes that only the Legislative Branch has the authority to enact. ... Governor Cooper has betrayed the people of North Carolina with an Executive Order that not only allows boys and men into girls' and women's showers and bathrooms but also forces private businesses to adopt sweeping LGBT privileges." 8

The Coalition stated:

"Anyone who has or seeks a government contract with the state or receive government benefits (like churches and religious organizations) will have to adopt internal operating policies that favor and give preference to people who are gay, lesbian, or transgender."

In reality:

  • The order allows persons identified as male at birth who now identify as female to use washrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

  • The "sweeping privileges" do not favor any one group. They apply to everyone: to persons of all sexes, sexual orientations, gender identities, races, colors, national origins, and military status, equally.

Meanwhile, on SEP-07, Amazon called for municipalities in the U.S. and Canada to submit "HQ2 proposals." They are seeking location to house a second headquarters building that will be equal in stature to its current Seattle, WA complex. The new facility could result in a 5 billion dollar local investment and employ a workforce of 50,000 skilled personnel. Over a hundred cities in the U.S. and Canada are preparing bids. Toronto, ON is one of them, where the difference between Canadian and U.S. dollars would be an advantage, and universal health care would save the company about U.S. $450 million a year. 9 There is some speculation that Governor Cooper's executive order was partly motivated by a desire to make North Carolina a more attractive destination.

Fitzgerald commented:

"Its unfortunate that the governor would put a west coast business above the wishes and the desires of the people of North Carolina." 10

She might not be aware of a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, during 2016-OCT. It surveyed 798 likely voters and found that:

  • 69% believe that public facilities can be managed in ways that respect both transgender people and those with privacy and safety concerns.

  • 60% believed that HB2 had hurt the state's economy.

  • 47% were opposed to HB2; 35% were in favor.

  • 55% said that HB2 should be repealed; 32% want it retained.

  • 57% of women and 41% of men support HB2's transgender washroom clause.

The poll's margin of error was ±3.5 percentage points. 11

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Downloaded from the transgender menu of http://www.pixaby.com
  2. Fr. Mark Hodges, "North Carolina LGBT activists fail in latest bid to repeal bathroom privacy bill," Life Site News, 2016-DEC-22, at: https://www.lifesitenews.com/
  3. "National Collegiate Athletic Association," Wikipedia, as on 2017-APR-08, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
  4. "North Carolina governor signs law replacing 'bathroom bill'," The Star, print copy, 2017-MAR-30
  5. "North Carolina governor signs law replacing 'bathroom bill'," The Star, 2017-MAR-30, at: https://www.thestar.com/
  6. Justin Haskins, "Vermont mayor issues controversial travel ban to ‘protect’ transgender people," Th Blaze, 2017-APR-16, at: http://www.theblaze.com/
  7. "Cooper signs non-discrimination executive order," WCNC, 2017-OCT-19, at: http://www.wcnc.com/
  8. Claire Cretien, "North Carolina governor signs order forcing businesses to allow men to enter women’s bathrooms," LifeSiteNews, 2017-OCT-19, at: https://www.lifesitenews.com/
  9. David Rider, "Toronto submits 185 page bid for Amazon's second headquarters," Toronto Star, 2017-OCt-20. Page GT1.
  10. Rad Berky, "Conservative group implies Gov. Cooper is acting like Harvey Weinstein," WCNC, 2017-OCT-19, at: http://www.wcnc.com/
  11. Bruce Henderson, "HB2 was a mistake, most N.C. voters say in Observer poll," Charlotte Observer, 2016-OCT-28, at: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/

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Copyright © 2016 & 2017by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-DEC-23
Latest update : 2017-APR-17.
Author: B.A. Robinson

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