LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — The ugliest political stunt this year does not even involve Donald Trump — he was trumped by Republicans in North Carolina’s state legislature and Republican Governor Pat McCrory. In a special one-day session yesterday, Republicans in both houses passed a bill banning cities and other local governments in the state from adopting trans equality ordinances — and was signed off by the governor on the same day.
The bill is also retroactive — it kills any existing trans rights protections — the widely praised trans rights ordinance passed by the city of Charlotte recently is now dead.
Outrageous, unprecedented, appalling, and heinous are among the terms being used to describe the actions of the governor and state Republicans. Protesting Senate Democrats walked out of the chamber during voting.
The Human Rights Commission noted the session was called solely for the purpose of passing this bill that the governor quickly signed the bill into law in the dark of the night. Indeed, after the bill passed both houses, the National Transgender Equality Center’s Mara Keisling sent out a massive call-to-action to persuade the governor not to sign the bill, however, by the time most people read the message, the bill was already law.
A quick summary of the legislative session by the HRC: “In the hurried, single-day session convened today, public comment was extremely limited and members were given very little time to give this extraordinary bill the kind of scrutiny it deserved. In an attempt to rush the bill through, the House Committee limited speakers to two minutes and legislators only had five-minutes to review the bill. ”
HRC President Chad Griffin: “Governor McCrory’s reckless decision to sign this appalling legislation into law is a direct attack on the rights, well-being, and dignity of hundreds of thousands of LGBT North Carolinians . . . This outrageous new law not only strips away the ability of local jurisdictions to protect LGBT people from discrimination, but it goes further and targets transgender students who deserve to be treated equally at school — not harassed and excluded.
Governor McCrory’s action will be judged sorely by history and serve as a source of deep shame, remorse, and regret.”
Governor Pat McCrory: “The basic expectation of privacy in the most personal of settings, a restroom or locker room, for each gender was violated by government overreach and intrusion by the mayor and city council of Charlotte. This radical breach of trust and security under the false argument of equal access not only impacts the citizens of Charlotte but people who come to Charlotte to work, visit or play. This new government regulation defies common sense and basic community norms by allowing, for example, a man to use a woman’s bathroom, shower or locker room.”
UPDATE March 25, 2016 — New York Times says anti-trans law makes North Carolina a pioneer in bigotry:
“Officials in Charlotte, N.C., spent more than a year carefully considering and debating an antidiscrimination ordinance that was passed in February to promote the city’s culture of inclusiveness. State lawmakers quashed it on Wednesday by passing an appalling, unconstitutional bill that bars transgender people from using public restrooms that match their gender identity and prohibits cities from passing antidiscrimination ordinances that protect gay and transgender people.
Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the bill into law late Wednesday, said it was necessary to undo Charlotte’s ordinance, which included protections for gay and transgender people, because it allowed “men to use women’s bathroom/locker room.” Proponents of so-called bathroom bills, which have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, have peddled them by spuriously portraying transgender women as potential rapists.
That threat exists only in the imagination of bigots. Supporters of the measures have been unable to point to a single case that justifies the need to legislate where people should be allowed to use the toilet. North Carolina is the first state to pass such a provision.
North Carolina lawmakers must have recognized that careful scrutiny of the bill would have doomed it. They convened a special session on Wednesday — which cost taxpayers $42,000 — to ram the bill through. The House allowed for 30 minutes of public debate, limiting speakers to two minutes. The Democrats walked out of the Senate in protest.
. . .
By promoting the ludicrous idea that transgender women are inherently dangerous, the law endangers citizens who are already disproportionately vulnerable to violence and stigmatization. Transgender men go largely unmentioned in bathroom bill debates, but that could change. James Parker Sheffield, a transgender man with a beard, exposed the foolishness of the law in a tweet to the governor. “It’s now the law for me to share a restroom with your wife,” he wrote, attaching a photo of himself.
North Carolina could face serious economic repercussions from the law. It can expect backlash from leading employers, a potential cut in federal educational funding and lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law. American Airlines, which has a hub in Charlotte, and PayPal, which recently announced it would create 400 jobs in the state, are among several companies that have already criticized the law.
Mr. McCrory, who is running for re-election, may have assumed the bill would help him in a tight race against Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat who called the measure shameful. “Not only does this hurt North Carolina families, but it hurts our economy as well,” Mr. Cooper said in a message. Voters should reject the candidate who made the state a pioneer in bigotry.”
We haven’t heard the last of this. The fallout, no doubt, will be huge.
Contact list for major NC businesses and organizations: https://lexiecannes.com/2016/03/24/contact-list-of-major-north-carolina-businessesorganizations-easy-to-use-and-please-share/
This will also work in NC now: https://lexiecannes.com/2015/11/04/call-for-trans-men-to-invade-public-womens-bathrooms-in-houston/
UPDATE March 24, 2016 — Public backlash has been swift: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/03/23/north-carolina-passes-bill-blocking-lgbt-protections/
UPDATE March 25, 2016 NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/opinion/transgender-law-makes-north-carolina-pioneer-in-bigotry.html?_r=0
I recently wrote about South Dakota’s governor vetoing a trans-hate bill: https://lexiecannes.com/2016/02/17/update-sd-governor-vetoes-bathroom-bill/
Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/