Responding to worldwide disgust at the passage and signing of HB2, which discriminates against transgender people (and does lots of bad stuff in general), NC Governor McCrory put some shit on his website, entitled “Myths vs Facts: What New York Times, Huffington Post and other media outlets aren’t saying about common-sense privacy law”
Can we dispense with the notion that this is a privacy law at all? It doesn’t make the public bathrooms any more or less private. It just changes who can go where.
And don’t get me started on “common-sense”.
So let’s look at this McCrory thing. He starts off with this:
1. Does the new bill limit or prohibit private sector companies from adopting their own nondiscrimination policies or practices?
Answer: No. Businesses are not limited by this bill. Private individuals, companies and universities can adopt new or keep existing nondiscrimination policies.
That’s a nice way of saying that private individuals, companies and universities can still discriminate on the basis of gender identity or orientation. In other words, the bill didn’t make things worse when it comes to the private sector bathrooms. You can be fired for being gay. You can be demoted for being gay. Employers can refuse to hire you for being gay. They can refuse to promote you for being gay. Businesses can refuse to serve you for being gay.
2. Does this bill take away existing protections for individuals in North Carolina?
Answer: No. In fact, for the first time in state history, this law establishes a statewide anti-discrimination policy in North Carolina which is tougher than the federal government’s. This also means that the law in North Carolina is not different when you go city to city.
This is not true. At the time the bill was passed, there was a brand new *existing* anti-discrimination policy in Charlotte. Now there isn’t.
It’s sort of disingenuous to say that nothing has changed when in fact, the NC government convened in a special session specifically to make a change.
The next two questions are basically a re-phrasing of Question Number One
5. Does this law prohibit towns, cities or counties in North Carolina from setting their own nondiscrimination policies in employment that go beyond state law
Answer: No. Town, cities and counties in North Carolina are still allowed to set stricter non-discrimination policies for their own employees if they choose.
Ah, “in employment”. Subtle little caveat there. Thanks for addressing something that wasn’t an issue.
6. Does this bill mean transgender people will always have to use the restroom of the sex of their birth, even if they have undergone a sex change?
Answer: No. This law simply says people must use the bathroom of the sex listed on their birth certificate. Anyone who has undergone a sex change can change their sex on their birth certificate.
But if you can’t afford the sex change OR if you there are medical risks to sex change OR if you can’t afford the legal hurdles to get a birth certificate change OR if you were born in a state that doesn’t permit changes to birth certificates (Kansas, Tennessee, among others), you’re out of luck.
8. Does this bill affect people with disabilities?
Answer: No. Statewide law also bans discrimination based on disability.
What McCrory doesn’t tell you here is — yes, although statewide law bans discrimination based on a disability, you can’t — thanks to the new law — sue in state courts if someone discriminates against you (like, say, your boss). And it is not just disability. It is religion, color, national origin, biological sex and sometimes age.
So you have to go to federal court, which sometimes is impossible, or take longer, and is definitely more expensive. So basically, North Carolina still bans discrimination; it just won’t do anything to protect you from it.
9. Why did North Carolina pass this law in the first place?
Answer: The bill was passed after the Charlotte City Council voted to impose a regulation requiring businesses to allow a man into a women’s restroom, shower, or locker room if they choose. This ordinance would have eliminated the basic expectations of privacy people have when using the rest room by allowing people to use the restroom of their choice. This new local regulation brought up serious privacy concerns by parents, businesses and others across the state, as well as safety concerns that this new local rule could be used by people who would take advantage of this to do harm to others.
Boy, this is insulting. The Charlotte City Council most certainly did NOT vote to allow a MAN into a women’s restroom, etc. The ordinance was meant to allow a WOMAN into a women’s restroom. That’s why this HB2 is so offensive. It assumes, rather stupidly and contrary to both reality and common sense, that a person’s actual gender is what is on the birth certificate. And that a trans person will act in accordance with what some doctor said X number of years ago.
And then it assumes, in a nonsensical way, that others in the restroom would have their “expectations of privacy” invaded by the woman in the women’s restroom. Is there any evidence for this? Of course not. In fact, most transgender men use the men’s restroom and nobody is none the wiser. And same with transgender women. So whose privacy gets “invaded”? Name them, Gov. McCrory. I want to meet them.
11. Will this bill threaten federal funding for public schools under Title IX?
Answer: No, according to a federal court which has looked at a similar issue.
It would be nice if he cited his work. Because I wonder if the “similar issue” is in fact “similar” Or how old the case is. Because on April 29, 2014, the United States Department of Education (DOE) specifically states “Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.”
And in fact, when public schools have tried to get away with what NC us tryng to do, THEY LOSE.
13. Will this bill affect North Carolina’s ability to create or recruit jobs?
Answer: This bill does not affect companies in North Carolina. North Carolina was one of the top states to do business in the country before this law was passed, and preventing Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance from going into effect on April 1 won’t change that.
Well, true. Nothing in the language of the bill specifically hurts jobs. But given the response from business leaders all over the country, clearly it will have an impact on companies coming here, which effects job creation.
And the rest of it is bullshit. Kind of like… well, nothing has happened to North Carolina YET as a result of HB2. Ooookay.