Earlier this year, the Charlotte City Council passed a sweeping facilities access ordinance that violated the North Carolina Constitution, violated state trespass laws, and went beyond the licensing authority for cities in the state.
The ordinance inserted gender identity and gender expression into a facilities policy. The way the ordinance was written made gender specific facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms illegal, not just for city held areas, but for private businesses operating in Charlotte as well.
In response to the ordinance, the North Carolina General Assembly held a special session and passed House Bill 2, overturning it. Businesses and groups like the NBA were quick to come out opposing the new law as 'discriminatory' against the LGBTQ community and the pushback tactics look eerily similar to what Governor Pence encountered in Indiana over a religious liberty bill in 2015. The media has been running similar headlines.
The fact is, those claims are just not true. Protections have not been stripped away; they've been made uniform statewide.
Here is what House Bill 2 actually does, summarized from Governor McCrory's 'Facts vs Myths' on HB2:
- Rolls back Charlotte’s ordinance as it superseded their authority and state law.
- Puts into place a uniform statewide anti-discrimination policy on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age or sex.
- Establishes a single, statewide standard for K-12 public schools, public buildings, and other public areas throughout North Carolina.
- Does not threaten Title IX funding.
- Schools and other facilities are not prohibited from providing reasonable accommodations such as single occupancy/unisex bathroom. The same applies to businesses.
- The bill makes it easier to do business in North Carolina; it prevents businesses from being forced to comply with different rules in different cities/municipalities across the state.
- Ensures attempts that future ordinances will not have to go through this same fight.
The ACLU and Equality NC have launched a lawsuit with similar claims of discrimination.
The suit goes into detail about gender dysphoria and lays out in several points that these individuals are dealing with a mental disorder. That disorder, the suit asserts, requires therapy of being able to use the bathroom or locker room of their choice.
So is the suit's argument that the vast majority of citizens are supposed to participate in the largest group therapy session in history by surrendering their own safety and privacy? Arguably, yes.
Interestingly, the main thrust of the suit centers around 'gender identity', and not biological sex. The suit arguably will force the courts to decide what constitutes 'sex'. In other words, is it biology or what any given person claims their sex is in the head at any given time?
Time will tell as the suit goes to court and is tried by hired attorneys, since the state's Attorney General, Roy Cooper, has refused to defend the law. Apparently, running for Governor has made it hard for him to do the job he currently has.
Lt. Governor Forest commented on Cooper's refusal:
“The attorney general is supposed to be the people's lawyer, but instead of standing up for the 70% of North Carolinians who oppose Charlotte's bathroom ordinance, Roy Cooper decided today he would rather side with the ACLU, the White House and Washington, D.C. special interests groups who believe that businesses should be forced to allow men into women's restrooms – even if they are registered sex offenders – all in the name of political correctness.”
This isn't Cooper's first refusal to do his job either. In Fall of 2015, Cooper refused to join an Amicus brief filed against the U.S. Department of Education over the department's use of lawsuits to bully school districts into adopting open bathroom policies.
Whatever one's position is on HB2, one is welcome to their own opinion. However, one is not entitled to one's own facts.