Sunday, April 10, 2016

The HB2 Debacle: They Did Not Think This Through

Opinion |

Poor Pat McCrory. Poor General Assembly. Guess convening a special session to ram through a poorly-thought-out, hastily written, bigoted and ignorant anti-LGBT bill didn’t make everyone rush to do business in our fair state. Who’d have thunk it?
Seems that HB2, the abominable legislation aimed at depriving our cities and towns of the ability to protect the human dignity of their citizens as they see fit, immediately drew more than just criticism from some of the very businesses that our supposedly pro-business, pro-jobs, and pro-growth Republican overlords claim they want to bring here.
The online payments site PayPal canceled plans to expand its facility in Charlotte, citing HB2 as the reason. “The new law perpetuates discrimination, and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a press release announcing the cancellation. That cost the city an estimated 400 jobs.
So who needs PayPal, anyway? Buncha bleeding heart liberals trying to impose their radical tolerance agenda on the people of North Carolina. For that matter, who needs Hulu or Lionsgate Films, both of whom who are moving the locations of TV shows and films previously scheduled for production here? Who needs Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, which says it’s considering pulling the plug on a proposed $25 million dollar facility in Durham?
Who needs companies like Google, PepsiCo, Hewlett-Packard, Bank of America, Apple, Red Hat, Pfizer, Microsoft, Marriott International, or any of the over 100 companies or organizations who have come out against the law? Who cares that some of them have said they’re either pulling some or all of their business out of N.C. or are seriously considering doing so?
Who needs travelers from the states of New York, Vermont, Washington or Minnesota, or cities like Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston or Seattle, all of which have banned personnel from “nonessential” travel to our state on their states’ or cities’ business?
And hey, maybe those people who might have been employed by PayPal, Braeburn et al., can get employment as bathroom monitors, peeking over the tops of stalls and standing by the urinals to make sure that no person with unauthorized biology is using the public restroom. Eternal vigilance is, after all, the price of making sure the lady in the next stall truly has all the proper lady parts, or that the dude standing over there preparing to relieve himself is all dude, if you know what I mean.
Oh, and ladies, that macho-looking character who just swaggered into the ladies’ room? Don’t worry, he’s probably just a trans man. Believe me, he’d rather be in the bathroom that matches the gender he feels, but you know, his birth certificate says he’s “actually” a woman, so let’s just all try and get through this, mmm’kay? Let’s also just hope he’s not some creepy dude pretending that he’s a trans person whose birth certificate says he’s a woman, which was kind of the thing the law was supposed to prevent, wasn’t it?
Do you get the feeling that Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly might not have thought this thing through?
It gets worse. A “state policy declaration” dating back to 1977 says that it’s North Carolina’s policy to protect citizens from discrimination in employment based on “race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap.” The courts have held that gives those discriminated against the right to seek redress in the courts of North Carolina. But a line in HB2 that amends that declaration says that “no person may bring any civil action based upon the public policy expressed herein.” Many legal experts say that passage wipes out not just the rights of LGBT people to sue in state court, but also the rights of all people seeking relief in our courts for all kinds of discrimination. We can only hope that was inadvertent.
Confronted with the rising backlash, McCrory desperately tried to change the subject. “The people of North Carolina,” he said, “want to talk about roads and economic development and jobs, and that’s where I’m going to focus my attention, not on ridiculous restroom and locker room policies that some people are trying to force onto the private sector.”
Hey, Governor, you and your cronies brought this up. And “economic development and jobs” are precisely the things that are being hurt by this boneheaded bill. So, yeah, “focus your attention” on getting rid of this debacle, not trying to brush it under the rug.
Oh, and I’m terribly sorry if this hurts anyone’s feelings, especially the tender sensibilities of our governor, but my religion requires me to call out and mock the bigoted, the hypocritical, the cynical and the stupid. My religious liberty requires you to respect that. So there.