Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Two takeaways from the North Carolina legislature's vouch of homophobia

As expected, the dunderheads in the North Carolina legislature brought the hammer of homophobia down on the head of the state's lgbt community:

North Carolina’s House of Representatives voted Wednesday to block cities and counties from passing protections against LGBT discrimination in a wide-ranging bill that could have enormous implications for the state.

HB 2, which passed 83-25 in a special session, would set a statewide anti-discrimination policy, banning employers and businesses from discriminating against employees or customers based on their race, color, country of origin, religion, age or “biological sex.” The bill offers no protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and prevents local governments from passing any nondiscrimination policy that goes beyond the statewide standard.

The bill also pre-empts local employment ordinances governing wages, benefits, employee protections and leave policies. It would prevent schools from allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

The state Senate is set to consider the bill later Wednesday.

“This bill essentially repeals 50 years of non-discrimination efforts and gives lawmakers in Raleigh unprecedented control over our city and local governments,” Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue said in a statement. “North Carolina Republicans want to pass what would potentially be the single most discriminatory act in the country. This is a direct affront to equality, civil rights, and local autonomy.”
Republican lawmakers called the state’s General Assembly into a special session with the goal of blocking Charlotte’s anti-discrimination measure from going into effect. That measure, which passed last month in a 7-4 vote, bans businesses from discriminating against customers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Critics of the Charlotte ordinance particularly took issue with a provision that allows transgender people to use bathrooms designated for their preferred gender. Gov. Pat McCrory (R) vowed to overturn it, claiming it creates “major public safety issues.”

Here are my two takeaways:

1. If you think this thing is a misguided attempt to protect females from predators sneaking into their bathrooms and locker rooms, raise your hands high . . . so I can smack you upside the head like Moe used to do in "Three Stooges" shorts. Protecting females is just the excuse. If it were simply about that, what's with the overreach? This bill is yet another attempt to keep lgbts under heel as second class citizens, just like other anti-gay bills. Folks who pus these things always claim that they are attempting to protect children, women, or others they see as vulnerable. The only folks who need protection are lgbts every time one of these bills come up. Count on the opposition to also make a false argument that the "rights" of Christians are under attack and the only way to prevent this is to hinder all lgbt non-discrimination laws.

2. Which brings up point two. These bills will continue to come up. The lgbt community attaining marriage equality never meant the fight for our equality was over. It only means that it's heating up. Angry at their losses, anti-gay groups and spokespeople are working hard - and getting paid lots of money - to dream up and put into play new ways to deny us equality or just basically ruin our specific day. North Carolina is yet ANOTHER wake up call that this so-called culture war isn't over. And we have to use new tactics.  Don't get discouraged. Get engaged.. A two hour protest expressing anger won't fix this. Lgbts must stop being sitting ducks. Get engaged in the political process, voting, and running for office. Study the tactics of the anti-gay groups in your state. Know them by heart. And don't be afraid to pick public fights of rhetoric with them.

Editor's note - The bill just passed the Senate by a vote of 32-0. The Democrats walked out instead of voting on the bill. It now awaits Gov.  Pat McCrory,'s signature, which he unfortunately gave this same night.

Let the games begin.


Frank said...

I just don't get it. Are there no intelligent legistlators in the North Carolina Senate? And why did the Democrats walk out?????????

BlackTsunami said...

My guess is because they didn't have enough votes to defeat that monstrosity, they walked out in a symbolic gesture. I wholeheartedly agree with what they they.