What is wrong with legislators and the governors of North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri and more states who are actively passing discriminatory laws against transgender people? Bigotry needs to stop.
Transgender people deserve equal rights, just like ever other American citizen, and the new anti-LGBT law in North Carolina deprives them of their basic rights and must be repealed. Imagine singling out a group of people — transgenders — who have already coped with the emotional upheaval of recognizing that their gender identity is not the same as their biological sex — then subjecting them to prejudice.
That’s what’s happening to the transgender residents of and visitors to North Carolina, which is under well-deserved pressure to repeal a law that voids local non-discrimination laws in the state as well as local employees’ rights laws. It also requires transgender people to use public restrooms which correspond to the “biological” sex that is on their birth certificate. In other words, Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox and Gigi Gorgeous would be required to use men’s bathrooms, and Chaz Bono would be forced to use a woman’s bathroom. The law insists that this be enforced in public schools and universities as well.
The excuse that North Carolina governor, Pat McCrory, and other legislators gave for enacting the law was to protect women and children from “sexual predators” in public bathrooms. In other words, North Carolina’s General Assembly is equating transgenders with “sexual predators,” which is ridiculous. As Leon Lott, a South Carolina sheriff pointed out — as his state also contemplates discriminatory legislation — in his 41 years in law enforcement in the state, he has “never heard of a transgender person attacking or otherwise bothering someone in a restroom. This is a non-issue.” He insisted, “I cannot endorse a bill which is unnecessary and unenforceable, and asking deputies to check a person’s genitalia invades the subject’s dignity and privacy.” Thank you, sheriff.
Despite this sheriff’s common sense response to anti-LGBT bathroom bills, his state of South Carolina, plus North Carolina, and others are not backing down. They would rather legalize discrimination against transgenders despite huge economic and cultural consequences. Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Pearl Jam, and Bryan Adams recently cancelled concerts in North Carolina. One hundred national companies have protested the law including Facebook, Google and Bank of America. PayPal canceled plans to open a new operations center in Charlotte, N.C, costing 400 jobs, and Deutsche Bank pulled 150 jobs from the state; customers are boycotting the huge High Point furniture fair, and students are refusing to apply to Duke University in Durham, as well as the University of North Carolina.
Fortunately, North Carolina is seeing that it’s economically expensive to be bigoted. Unfortunately, North Carolina’s governor and legislators haven’t backed down yet, and anti-LGBT laws keep moving ahead in other states. Is this fair for LGBT people to be subjected to discrimination? To not have equal protections under the law? It’s not right or legal now to discriminate against anyone because of their race, skin color, religion and sex. It can’t be right to discriminate because of gender identity.
We are all human beings and are entitled to equal respect, sensitivity and protection. When you hit the voting booths in state primaries, then the general election on Nov. 8, make sure you know where your candidates stand on LGBT rights. We should all be equal under the law.
Do you agree, Hollywoodlifers? Let me know.