House Bill 2

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House Bill 2

Grace Sauers and Caroline Herrick

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On March 23, 2016, Pat McCrory, current governor of North Carolina, signed the controversial House Bill 2 or HB2. The bill, officially called the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, is a bill that applies to all North Carolina gay, transgender, genderqueer and intersex people. HB2 declares that bathrooms should be chosen based on “a people’s biological sex defined by the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.” This bill has been extremely controversial, receiving attention from all around the world. HB2 also reverses the Charlotte ordinance, which included new legal protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people. This historic ordinance proclaimed that no business in Charlotte can discriminate against LGBT people. The most controversial part of the ordinance stated that any transgender, genderqueer, or intersex person could “use either a men’s or women’s bathroom, depending on the gender with which they identify.” For many this bill represents a step back in equality laws; however, for many it is protective of their safety. The main opposition of the bathroom bill is that pre-op transgender people would be allowed in the bathroom of their choice. Many family protection agencies and parents have come out to support the bill, as they believe it is for the protection of children’s safety. Nevertheless, millions of people and companies have stood up against the bill, stating its disregard for years of equality laws. Now, many states have begun to push against theses states in order to reopen bathrooms to all sexes. This bathroom law has spread to many other states and is likely to change gender and LGBTQ rights as we know them.

 

The world is changing, evolving, always marching to the beat of a brighter future that welcomes individuals from diverse walks of life. We have made great strides to better humanity through the legalization of same-sex marriage, the promotion of acceptance of transgenders, the continuation of empowering women—not to mention nearly abolishing all forms of racism. Our current society has begun to spit in the face of conformity and encourage individuality with acceptance. The new generation is a part of a revolution and, as I write this, history is being made, which is why I find it infuriating that on March 23 of this year, North Carolina passed The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. This act requires all men, women and  transgenders to use the facilities according to the gender stated on their birth certificate, not the gender in which they identify.

This act is a clear form of discrimination, sending the nation’s hard earned progress into a backwards spiral. This act creates unnecessary conflicts for American people, specifically towards transgender Americans. Why should someone who has the features of a female be forced by law to use a men’s restroom? And vice versa—for a woman with the feature of a male?  It appears to be a trivial excuse to give those who have been fighting their whole lives for acceptance.  What does one more guarded boundary over something as natural as using the facilities accomplish?

In response to this act, The Department of Justice has taken affirmative action by declaring HB2 (The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act), a violation of natural rights and an impermissible discriminatory act. Attorney General of The Department of Justice, Lorella Lynch, on May 10 of this year, announced that the DOJ filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state of  North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, and the University of North Carolina.

“I want to note that we retain the option of curtailing the federal funding to North Carolina Department of public safety and the University of North Carolina as this case proceeds, but this action is about a great deal more than bathrooms. This is about the dignity and the respect that we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we as a people and as a country have enacted to protect them, indeed to protect all of us,” said Lynch.  

North Carolina must not prevail to stall the progress needed to fully unify our country in acceptance. It is our duty as the future of this great country to ensure the freedom, safety and peace of our citizens, regardless of gender identity.

 

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