Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Family Research Council omits truth about North Carolina's anti-gay law

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

I knew that the Family Research Council would gloat  about North Carolina's new law, HB2, but  even I am a bit put off by the organization's celebratory email. I am going to post FRC's entire statement coming from its president, Tony Perkins:

Yesterday, leaders in North Carolina achieved more in a day than many state leaders have been able to accomplish in years. In a single-day special session, legislators passed and the governor signed into law protections for the privacy of children and women using school and public bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms in the Tar Heel state. Governor Pat McCrory (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R), and House Speaker Tim Moore (R) are to be commended for a day's work well done!

A month ago, the Charlotte City Council revived and passed a previously failed effort to establish special rights for people who identify as transgender. The law added "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" (SOGI) to the list of protected classes like race, national origin, and sex to the city's nondiscrimination code. The change was billed as "tolerant" and "inclusive," but as we've seen time and again it effectively opened every public bathroom, every gym shower, and every school locker room in the city to anyone, regardless of their biological sex. Despite thousands of calls, emails, and testimony from Charlotte residents -- including the Benham brothers -- who have experienced first-hand the heightened hostility and discrimination against Christians who hold to a biblical view of marriage and sexuality, the Council voted to force all businesses and places of public accommodation in city limits to recognize every person's preferred "gender identity" or face heavy fines and penalties.

This is where the Left leads us when left unchecked by common sense: The privacy of women and children must be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. This reckless abandon of common sense threatens the safety and freedoms of Americans from Seattle to Houston.

Thankfully, state leaders stood up and common sense prevailed yesterday in North Carolina, days before the Charlotte ordinance was set to take effect. Even before the Council voted, Gov. McCrory and Lt. Gov. Forest (who presides over the Senate) made it abundantly clear that they would act to protect North Carolinians. The new law, Gov. McCrory warned, would "create major public safety issues." "It is not only the citizens of Charlotte that will be impacted by changing basic restroom and locker room norms," he wrote, "but also citizens from across our state and nation who visit and work in Charlotte."

Lt. Gov. Forest was even more direct: "Girls' bathrooms are for girls, boys' bathrooms are for boys. The fact we are even debating this is a sad commentary on where we are as a society."

If you live in North Carolina, please take a moment to thank Gov. McCrory, Lt. Governor Forest, and Speaker Moore for their courage in the face of fierce opposition on social media, staged protests to disrupt debate, and Democratic drama as Democrats in the Senate walked-out. Because these men refused to be bullied and intimidated, North Carolina becomes the third state (after Tennessee and Arkansas) to protect its citizens in bathrooms and locker rooms.

And no matter where you live, take a moment to tell your elected officials that you support protecting the rights of the majority of Americans who continue to believe in biblical sexuality and natural marriage.

Other than the deliberate appeal to fear mongering and lies about the transgender community, can you tell me what ELSE is wrong with the Family Research Council's statement. Isn't it missing one very HUGE detail about North Carolina's new law?

How about the simple fact that HB2 does more than supposedly "protect public safety." The law eliminates any and all non-discrimination ordinances in the state which would protect all members of the lgbt community.

 Jay Michelson of The Daily Beast puts it this way:

 The state has undone not just local ordinances protecting transgender people, but all LGBT nondiscrimination provisions across the state. Literally overnight, people in Charlotte and across North Carolina can now be fired from their jobs for being gay, turned away at hotel chains for being gay, and even forced to show their genitals to a police officer if the cop thinks they might be transgender.

Dominic Holden of Buzzfeed said:

House Bill 2 mandates that state law supersedes all local ordinances concerning wages, employment, and public accommodations.

Holden also pointed out that until yesterday, nine other jurisdictions in NC  had ordinances similar to Charlotte's

Lastly, this Human Rights Campaign graphic says it all:

We shouldn't fool ourselves as to why the Family Research Council conveniently omitted the full repercussions of HB2.

FRC knows what this awful law does in its entirety. The organization knows fully well that the law now leaves lgbts in North Carolina defenseless against discrimination. And I'm willing to wager that members of the organization are practically giddy over this fact.

But  Perkins and the rest of FRC also know that there is no way they can defend what this law does. Attempting to address the elimination of rights would totally destroy the narrative of "public safety." So rather than try to put lipstick on this pig, so to speak, FRC has hidden the pig deep in the barn while it distracts everyone with the shiny distraction of "men lurking in ladies restrooms."

As discussion about HB2 continue, FRC's shady behavior should serve as a warning about the truth regarding these "bathroom bills."  Let's not forget to remind everyone about this fact every chance we get.

Two things the lgbt community MUST do after North Carolina

After North Carolina yesterday, it's safe to say that finally the lgbt community is realizing that in spite of winning marriage, we are still involved in a brutal war of rhetoric and position against groups and folks determined to take away our rights.

Welcome to the party, y'all.

That being said, my guess is that after North Carolina, anti-gay groups will be coordinating to repeat what happened in there throughout the United States in as many areas as they can. The following is simply my opinion as to what the lgbt community and our allies MUST do next to combat and defeat this new attack on us.

1. The anchor of anti-gay assault this time is the transgender community. Exploiting fears and ignorance, the religious right and their allies in state legislatures are using "bathroom bills" to strip the entire lgbt community of our rights. My advice is to don't run from the lie. Run to it. Full speed. We have enough information and resources to bogart and refute the talking point. Resources like the following from Media Matters (which by the way does NOT get used enough by our community):

This graphic needs to be sent out to as many places as possible. Its information needs to be repeated in as many places as possible. Don't be afraid to overwhelm.  The goal is to get the truth about these so-called "bathroom bills" out there and drilled into as many heads as possible. And on that same note, I understand the trepidation and fear, but as many transgender brothers and sisters as can be need  to be public and telling their story. If folks have transgender family members, they need to tell their stories also. It's all about getting the truth out there.

2. I have no doubt that we will win this particular fight. But what about next time because my guess is that there will be another fight after this one. Religious right groups have an nauseatingly uncanny knack of pinpointing a fear about the lgbt community and using it to exploit the uninformed.  This mess about "bathroom bills" is just the latest in a long line of horror stories and lies they have told about the lgbt community. It's like I said in another post:

In the 70s, they said the children must be protected from "recruitment" since gays supposedly can't reproduce.

In the 80s, they exploited the ignorance regarding the AIDS crisis to make lgbts seem like deserving pariahs.

In the 90s. it was all about keeping us from receiving unfair "special rights."

And in the early 2000's, it was all about "protecting marriage."

So what can we do about it? We connect all of these past lies. We consistently remind people of other claims the religious right have made about lgbts (such as hate crimes legislation will lead pastors to be arrested in their pulpits) which turned out to be not true. In doing this, we can to strip the "bathroom bill" of its unearned power as a legitimate problem, thereby exposing it as yet another lie designed to demonize the lgbt community.

As much as I hate to say this, the lgbt community have the bad habit of underestimating those who want to deny us our equality. We are too quick to celebrate when we get one victory and too slow to realize that the one victory in question is only a battle in a larger war.

It's not that we aren't intelligent or talented enough to defeat religious right lies. It's that we seem to always be deliberately unprepared. We generally win, but only after lots of heart ache, tears, anger, circular firing squads, and all of the trappings of a people trying to catch up in a battle.

I don't about any of you, but I am tired of playing catch up.

Related post - How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America

'Fall out begins from NC's homophobia and it's not good' & other Thur. midday news briefs

NC Gov. Pat McCrory

North Carolina Editorials Slam Republican "Recklessness And Foolishness" In Rolling Back LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections - Slowly but surely, the backlash to yesterday's homophobic madness in North Carolina begins. First are the appetizers of editorials. Then the good stuff . . . 

How North Carolina Just Passed a Blood-Curdling Anti-LGBT Law Right Before Our Eyes - Yet again, Michelangelo Signorile is right. Complacency due to victories can be the lgbt community's worst enemy. 

 Pat McCrory Says He Signed the Broadest Anti-LGBT Bill in the Nation to Prevent Government Overreach - Chyle, you can't get me high enough to buy that explanation. And don't think we don't know that you are up for re-election this year. 

 Don’t forget, Trans People Are Loved - Yes they are. It's never affirming to be a scapegoat for bigotry. We need to remember our transgender brothers and sisters right now and make sure they know this.  

Disney To Georgia: We Will Not M-I-C See You Real Soon If You Pass That Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill - Events yet to come in NC, Georgia, Kansas, and any other place making one of those noxious "religious freedom" bills into law.