(Paul Chesser, Liberty Headlines) When it comes to fixing the “transgender bathroom” mess they created by ramming through a Charlotte ordinance which required businesses to allow men in women’s restrooms and showers, North Carolina Democrats can’t get out of their own way — even when they try to solve it with the help of liberal Republicans.
A bill co-sponsored by two members of each party in the North Carolina House of Representatives (later signed on to by 5 more liberal Republicans) was introduced yesterday. According to The News & Observer of Raleigh, the legislation to repeal the protections in House Bill 2 would also “prohibit cities and counties from regulating public bathroom access and would include a statewide anti-discrimination law that doesn’t mention sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Anyone who has paid even minimal attention to the conflict knows those terms are non-starters for militant LGBT advocacy groups. Both the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina — joined by state and national Democrats and celebrities and kowtowing corporations around the world — ran high-stakes and high-priced pressure campaigns against previous Gov. Pat McCrory last year over his support for HB2. They established a “no surrender” stance, insisting all aspects of Charlotte’s radical ordinance must be fully restored, including requirements that both public facilities and private businesses must allow anyone who claimed to be their opposite gender to access whichever restroom or locker room they want.
When North Carolina lawmakers met in a late December special session to attempt to repeal HB2, Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro said on MSNBC that “we’re going to need to win comprehensive non-discrimination protections…not just Charlotte, but Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington, and everywhere in between.”
So predictably, he called the “bipartisan” proposal introduced yesterday “a trainwreck.”
North Carolina Democrats Advance New Model Bill for LGBTQ America
Meanwhile a bill that has been introduced with more widespread support among elected North Carolina Democrats would not only repeal HB2, but would extend government-granted special privileges even further for adherents to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer lifestyles. The legislation broadens “protected status” for discrimination against individuals to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” which goes beyond federal guidelines. It also states that “a place of public accommodation shall provide access to [restroom and changing] facilities based on a person’s gender identity.”
Former NC House member and HB2 author Dan Bishop, who is now in the state Senate after a resounding victory, found many other faults with the Democrats’ planned repeal. Primary among them is the lack of definition for “gender identity” or “sexual orientation.”
“Gender identity could include non-binary/fluid, such that choice of shower could change daily,” Senator Bishop said. “Sexual orientation presumably includes at least lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer, but is not limited to those.”
Bishop shot other holes in the Democrats’ aspirations for a sexually undefined public facility free-for-all in North Carolina. They include:
- “Protected status” for gender-un- or oppo-identifieds extends to employment and housing transactions. As one example, transgenders would have the right to residency in a single-sex dormitory for the opposite physiological sex, such as a college dorm or women’s shelter.
- Churches, private organizations, church or religious schools, or conscientious objectors have no exemptions under the Democrats’ proposed law. “Because a church appears to meet the broad definition of public accommodation,” Bishop said, “it apparently could not refuse same-sex weddings or deny transgender access to its own sex-separated bathrooms or overnight youth accommodations.”
- A system of new administrative investigations would be created, with civil fines up to $50,000, and lawsuits permitted with unlimited damages and attorney fee awards.
- Single-sex charter schools must admit transgender children of the opposite sex.
- “The small-employer exception (fewer than 15 employees), found in both state and federal nondiscrimination law for over 40 years, would be repealed,” Bishop said.
- Drug users and addicts benefit too, because of expansion of disability definitions. They cannot be discriminated against by prospective landlords.
- “The bills go farther than federal law and the law of 28 states and every state in the Southeast,” said Bishop, who also has his own law practice. “North Carolina would be at least tied for the most liberal state sexual orientation and gender identity law in the nation.”
So rather than just revert back to the terms of the Charlotte ordinance, which HB2 overrode, North Carolina Democrats want to go for broke. They won’t succeed because Republicans hold supermajorities in both the state House and Senate, even though the governorship is now in their hands.
“This is quite an evolution for a majority of Democrats in the past year,” Bishop said.
But could creation of statewide special privileges for those who choose a LGBTQ lifestyle become a new national rallying cry for the political left?