Anyone with a TV may know there is a raging controversy over North Carolina’s recent passage of HB 2 which stands to restrict bathroom usage to biological sex, rather than identifying sex. What this means, is that anyone described as female on their birth certificate must use the bathroom labeled “Women” regardless of their gender identification. The same goes for men as well. To get a better idea of the dynamics of this bill, ABCNews summarizes as follows:
House Bill 2 declares that state law overrides all local ordinances concerning wages, employment and public accommodations.
Thus, the law now bars local municipalities from creating their own rules prohibiting discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Though North Carolina does have a statewide nondiscrimination law, it does not include specific protections for LGBTQ people.
The law also directs all public schools, government agencies and public college campuses to require that multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities, such as locker rooms, be designated for use only by people based on their “biological sex” stated on their birth certificate. Transgender people can use the bathrooms and changing facilities that correspond to their gender identity only if they get the biological sex on their birth certificate changed.
Under the law, public institutions can still offer single-occupancy facilities.
Many public figures have come out in opposition of this bill, condemning North Carolina’s actions as discriminatory towards LGBT citizens, such as Bruce Springsteen and, more notably—PayPal. Paypal was set to open a new Charlotte based operations center, which would stand to bring roughly 400 jobs to the North Carolina metropolitan area. PayPal, known for its political action, announced that it would cease its plans for this expansion, citing the new law as being against the companies core values.
In response to this announcement Congressman Robert Pittenger offered the following response:
“PayPal does business in 25 countries where homosexual behavior is illegal, including 5 countries where the penalty is death, yet they object to the North Carolina legislature overturning a misguided ordinance about letting men in to the women’s bathroom? Perhaps PayPal would like to try and clarify this seemingly very hypocritical position.”
It would seem that while PayPal may have had the best interests of the LGBT community in mind, they’ve unwittingly shoved their foot into their own mouths, failing to see they hypocrisy of making such a bold condemnation of North Carolina when they themselves—the world’s largest online payment processor—condone the support of finances for countries that have standing laws making homosexual behavior illegal.
Heading towards election time, one can expect the news to be in a flurry of speech promoting divisive topics. LGBT rights, such as gender-identification accommodations, are still viewed as having potential to allow abuse by those who have no respect—such as pedophiles and sexual predators of the like. While this facet of the topic is focused on more heavily by the Conservative side, it is easily understandable as being a valid concern. After all, what other opportunity in the world isn’t exploited by someone—in this case, sexual predators would be allowed legal access to the opposite sex in one of the most intimate of settings. Is the avoidance of that act worth potentially denying a citizen to their right to identify as the gender they resonate with most-fully? That’s the question that is being argued by many North Carolinians, and the division seems to run deep.