I'm always hopeful that as our society evolves, we acquire a greater understanding and acceptance of disadvantaged and marginalized groups. Unfortunately, when I see the proposed legislation that is coming out of North Carolina, it just leaves me shaking my head and wondering how it could happen in 2016..
North Carolina is proposing a new law that transgender people would be requiredto use public washrooms based on the sex listed on their birth certificate, not by the gender with which they identify. The law also forces transgender students from using washrooms inconsistent with their gender identity.
The bill was brought forward by Governor Pat McCrory who criticized opponents of the legislation for conducting “a well-coordinated, national campaign to smear our state’s reputation after we passed a common-sense law to ensure no government can take away our basic expectations of privacy in bathrooms, locker rooms and showers.” It actually seems like more of a campaign for McCrery to appeal to the narrow minded transphobic members of society. The state lawmakers apparently were in a rush to push the legislation through in response to a new ordinance in Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city, which allowed people to use the washroom which corresponded to the person's gender with which they identify. The state law would likely be used to strike down the municipal legislation.
This just seems so dangerous. It would force a male who identifies as female to use a washroom for men. A public washroom is one of the most likely places where a trans person will face harassment and violence. It increases the likelihood of hate crimes and puts the person at unnecessary risk of harm. You may have guessed from the title of this post, I believe the legislation is discriminatory and based on prejudice, fear, and hatred of a small, harmless group struggling for acceptance. Unfortunately they continue to remain easily targeted for conservative political gain.