North Carolina Lawmakers Adjourn For The Year Without Fixing Anti-Transgender Law


When you push a child, they have a tendency to dig in their heels and hold their breath. This is where we’re at right now with North Carolina and their anti-transgender bathroom law. Despite all of the flak that the state took, lawmakers revealed their sheer unmitigated contempt for everyone who isn’t them when they adjourned for the year this week — without changing that law.

“Special Session”

The law, passed in March, made North Carolina the first U.S. state to require transgender people to use the restrooms in public buildings and schools that match their birth certificate sex rather than their gender identity.

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You may remember when this was signed — right-wing men came out of the woodwork to remind us how warped and perverted they are in a failed bid to smear transgender people, with some telling us that they would dress up as women to harass women in the restrooms.

Now, leaving aside that this says more about them and their personality flaws than it does transgender people, the arguments are stupid on the face of it: these men are not transgender people. Transgender people are in far more danger of cisgender people catching them and beating the hell out of them.

Boycott after boycott hit the state, damaging it economically. Criticism came at the state from all directions.

So what did lawmakers do when faced with all this? What any good spoiled brat does when confronted with reasonable authority — they dug their heels in and doubled down.

Lawmakers adjourned this week for the year on Friday night without touching the law, despite the criticism that it’s drawn and that it jeopardizes the state’s efforts to host the NBA All-Star Game, according to officials.

The NBA said that it would move the All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina as a result of the bill, citing concerns over the law’s effects on the principles of inclusion and equal protection. The league upholds these standards, they said, and the state of North Carolina right now was not.

NC State Representative Chris Sgro, a Democrat who opposes the law, said that he hoped lawmakers would vote on Friday to repeal the law. Instead, they dashed his hopes, and stubbornly adjourned without even holding a vote.

During a phone interview, Sgro noted, “It probably means that we’re going to have to come back for a special session because we’re going to lose the All-Star Game if we don’t.”

The game is scheduled for 2017. Frankly, I hope the NBA does move its game. If these nanny-state moralists want to die on this hill, let them die there.

State lawmakers did address one point that had caused controversy in the bill, however; they restored the right to sue for wrongful termination of employment in state courts on allegations of discrimination.

The law had actually banned that right and required those suits to be filed in a federal court.

In a statement, the office of Senate Leader Phil Berger, a Republican, said that the change addressed concerns from the state’s governor and others, but he still supports the bill:

Protecting the safety and privacy of North Carolina families by keeping grown men out of bathrooms, shower facilities and changing rooms with women and young girls has always been our primary objective.

And there are already laws to do that. Those laws already exist. The Potty Police law was not needed.

This argument, to me, reeks of the whole Brave White Men™ have to save Weak White Women™ from Animalistic Black Men™ who want to have their way with Weak White Women™ at every turn. Now, leaving aside some people still hold these queasy, nauseatingly perverse views, it overlooks the fact that these Brave White Men™ are a bigger danger to black men and transgender people of all stripes than black men and transgender people are to women.

As laws like this and the sequent reaction to the criticism of them shows.


Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

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