Local Politics

HB2 puts Charlotte on front line of LGBT battle

Posted October 28

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— More than two centuries after the Mecklenburg Resolves were signed near what is now the corner of Trade and Tryon streets in Charlotte, firing the spirit of independence in the American colonies, the Queen City fired the first shots in a nationwide war over transgender rights.

State lawmakers hurriedly drafted and passed House Bill 2 in response to a Charlotte ordinance requiring businesses to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice. The state law nullified that ordinance but also established a statewide nondiscrimination policy that excluded the LGBT community and barred cities and counties from extending protections to them.

Since then, North Carolina has been vilified by business leaders, entertainers and organizations, which have canceled business expansions and concerts and moved conventions and sporting events outside the state. Just this week, a real estate research firm shifted a 730-job operation from Charlotte to Richmond, Va. The federal government even sued the state over the law.

"They're punishing the whole community," Charlotte resident David Rice said.

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Rice supports House Bill 2, calling restricting bathroom access a privacy issue.

"Everyone has a right to privacy. That's the basis of our country," he said.

Khuram Bashir, a Pakistani immigrant who now operates a food truck, agrees with Rice that House Bill 2 is necessary.

"You're going to have peepers," Bashir said. "I think it's going to bring issues, especially for our youth, especially for our young girls, in junior high, high school and colleges."

But one of Bashir's customers called the state law a piece of legislation born of ignorance.

"If you really interact with a cross-section of people, then you realize we're all the same," Kenya Templeton said. "We all have to pull up our pants. We all have to use the bathroom."

Robert Ryals, an entrepreneurial historian who leads tours of Charlotte's Liberty Walk, said the modern law has him up in arms.

"I am firmly in belief that this was a bad idea from the very beginning," Ryals said, calling for a repeal of House Bill 2.

Some Charlotte voters said they think the election will be a referendum on Republican Gov. Pat McCrory for his support of House Bill 2. Polls show the former Charlotte mayor is in a tight race with Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who has called the law unconstitutional.

"I think the bill is harmful to Charlotte's bottom line," resident Alexia Walker said. "I think Charlotte's bottom line is it wants to be a growing, prosperous city, and this bill stands in our way."

5 Comments

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  • Amy Whaley Oct 29, 7:01 a.m.
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    Charlotte put themselves in this position passing an ordinance that the people had already voted against. It was an over reach of government as well forcing all business to allow unfettered access to not only restrooms but shower rooms, locker rooms, changing rooms, etc. to anyone of the opposite sex.... not just true transgenders but anyone who could claim they felt like the opposite sex.

    We can't compare statistics as to the danger this creates because we have never allowed sexual predators unfettered access to private areas.

    As another commented .... this isn't about the LGBT community, this is about the safety of all.

    Not to mention, the Charlotte ordinance violated a 2003 NC Supreme Court ruling. This was a political move by the Democrats in an election year....I think it is going to back fire on them.

  • Amy Whaley Oct 29, 6:50 a.m.
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    http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ignore-the-hype-here-s-what-employers-66257/

    When reporters don't do their job, we have to research the facts ourselves. Please read the above referenced article and you will find that HB2 wasn't designed to attack and take away the rights of the LGBT community.

  • Marilyn Loftin Oct 29, 5:11 a.m.
    user avatar

    If Roy Cooper wins this election, we will know people do not care who they vote for, as long as it is their party. He has nothing to offer.

  • Justa Mann Oct 29, 4:50 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    So what you are saying Aiden is that no woman has been sexually assaulted in a bathroom or shower. No child has been molested. No man has peeped or filmed women in showers or bathrooms. I hope you don't believe that. Charlotte's law would have given men, not just transexuals, unfettered access to women's bathrooms and showers. Predators will take advantage of their opportunities. That is a fact, not a fear. The opposition to Charlotte's law and support of HB2 has nothing to do with transexuals.

    Tools come from many different tool boxes. I have looked into yours and I see you are not the sharpest tool in your box.

  • Aiden Audric Oct 28, 7:13 p.m.
    user avatar

    Remember when Tami Fitzgerald tried to get pastors to tell their congregations that gay marriage will lead to incestuous and child marriages? Fear mongering, no basis in reality... and we ended up with an un-American anti-Constitutional Amendment along with tax dollars thrown to lawyers... and a divided society to boot.

    Now there's the "women and children will be attacked" line. Problem is, there is overwhelming evidence that this doesn't happen and isn't happening. What did we get? Rich lawyers (with an additional 1/2 million set aside to give them if needed). Oh, and of course - a divided society.

    Facts stop this kind of nonsense, but fear overwhelms people and they cannot process a rational and objective reality. Fear is the mind killer. And politicians use it to convert people into tools.

    Don't be a tool.