Ten things you need to know about North Carolina’s extraordinarily harsh anti-LGBT law – HB2 that was passed on March 23, 2016:
1) The law eliminates existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such provisions from being passed by cities in the future. This means that only statewide non-discrimination laws are allowed, and the law passed doesn’t include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
2) The law forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity. Additionally, access to facilities in all government agencies must be based on biological sex as well. That includes public universities.
3) North Carolina is the first state in the country to enact such a law attacking transgender students, even after several similar proposals were rejected across the country this year.
4) Because the law directly contravenes Title IX, North Carolina’s federal funding – at least 4.5 billion dollars- is put at risk.
5) The law also prevents cities from regulating in areas like living wage laws, benefits and hour regulations for workers in the city, city contracting, and even child labor regulations.
6) Dozens of businesses have publicly denounced the bill. The NCAA is hinting that it might not host championship events in North Carolina anymore. The NBA suggested it might move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte. The mayor of San Francisco just banned town staff from traveling here on the public dime.
7) If one is discriminated against for one’s religion, one has no right to sue in a state court. According to sections 3.2 and 3.3 of the bill, “no person may bring any civil action” if they experience discrimination, even when it comes to the categories where discrimination is explicitly banned.
8) Under this law, one does not even have to claim a “sincere religious objection” if one wishes to discriminate against gays and lesbians. State law allows people to discriminate against gays and lesbians for any reason they like.
9) It is legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians in North Carolina. Sections 3.1 and 3.3 of the bill prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, and biological sex. (Section 3.1 also bans discrimination on the basis of age or disability, but only when it comes to employment practices.) Sexual orientation is not included as a category, so it is, in fact, legal now to discriminate against gays and lesbians. One can be fired for being gay. One 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.
10) Police Power – “The public policy of this State is declared as follows: The wage levels of employees, hours of labor, payment of earned wages, and the well-being of minors are subjects of concern requiring legislation to promote the general welfare of the people of the State without jeopardizing the competitive position of North Carolina business and industry. The General Assembly declares that the general welfare of the State requires the enactment of this law under the police power of the State.”
Listen to Michael Usey’s Sermon “A Baptist Thinks About Transgender Persons”
Michael Usey, Pastor – College Park Baptist Church
Note: College Park held a citywide Rally Against HB2 on April 3, 2016. Read more about it.