Friday, March 31, 2017

North Carolina’s Bait-and-Switch on HB2

Faced with continued economic hemorrhaging, and an ultimatum by the NCAA, North Carolina has passed a supposed repeal of HB2, a toxic anti-transgender law that also attacked many other civil rights of minorities in that state.  The problem is that what was passed and signed into law is not a full repeal of HB2.  It's not even close to a full repeal.  North Carolina Republics still put appeasing one of the foulest elements of society - so-called "Conservative Christians" - ahead of the best interests of the state as a whole.  Hopefully, the NCAA and others will see that the new legislation is a farce and will continue the boycott of North Carolina and openly rebuke the state for continuing to legalize discrimination.  Religion has absolutely no place in public laws or public policy, especially when the beliefs fostered are based on fear and hatred of others.  Time will tell if this legislative attempt is seen for what it it is: a disingenuous attempt to dupe the NCAA and others.  Here are highlights from a New York Times main editorial that trashes this false repeal effort:
Facing a deadline to do away with a law that turned North Carolina into a national pariah by denying the right of transgender people to use public restrooms of their choice, state lawmakers rashly settled on a terrible compromise.
On Thursday, they repealed the law in name but not in substance, hoping to assuage organizations and employers that have boycotted the state to protest its discriminatory law. The National Collegiate Athletic Association had given state politicians until Thursday to get rid of the law before it would resume holding championship games in the state.
All those who have taken a principled stance against the law, known as H.B. 2, should stand firm. The law’s revision would deprive North Carolinians of protection from discrimination for years, and retains the odious notion that transgender people are inherently dangerous.
“We can never compromise on fundamental civil rights,” William Barber II, the president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said in a call with journalists Thursday morning. “It was never just a bathroom bill. It’s a bill that discriminates against so many people in so many ways.”
The original. . . . law mandated that transgender people use restrooms that matched the gender marker listed on their birth certificate, and barred localities from enacting laws to protect gays, lesbians and transgender people from discrimination.
It’s mystifying that Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat whose narrow election in November was seen as something of a referendum on H.B. 2, would regard the amended law as a suitable compromise. The repeal law did away with the birth certificate requirement, which was unenforceable all along because it would have turned law enforcement officials into genital inspectors. But it bars schools and other government entities from adopting policies allowing transgender people to use the restroom of their choice. And it still prohibits anti-discrimination ordinances until 2020.
He and other Democrats who supported the compromise said they concluded that a modest step toward undoing the law was the best they could hope for while Republicans have veto-proof majorities in the legislature. That is misguided. The deal was struck days after The Associated Press reported that the backlash against the law would cost North Carolina at least $3.7 billion in business over 12 years.
Getting employers and organizations to steer business and jobs to North Carolina should require more than window dressing. State officials must address the underlying problem: a law that enshrines discrimination against minorities and perpetuates harmful stereotypes about transgender people. Until they do, business as usual will represent an endorsement of bigotry and intolerance.
 The husband and I will continue our avoidance of visiting or spending money in North Carolina.  The embrace of bigotry has to made to bear a heavy price. 

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