In a recent article, PSR alum Kent L. Brintnall explored LGBT Rights in light of North Carolina’s recent House Bill 2. This piece of legislation, often called the “bathroom bill,” puts serious restrictions on the civil rights of LGBT individuals.
Here is Dr. Brintnall’s piece:
In March, in a special session that cost taxpayers $42,000, the North Carolina legislature met and passed, after just nine hours of deliberations that included less than an hour of public comment, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, a piece of legislation now known more widely as House Bill 2 or HB2. The legal and political situation concerning HB2 is rapidly changing. Just last week, the Department of Justice sent letters to Pat McCrory, North Carolina’s governor, and Margaret Spellings, president of the University of North Carolina system, informing them that HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act. Two days later, the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development announced they were investigating whether HB2 violates the programs and laws they oversee. North Carolina had until today, May 9th, to respond to the DOJ letter. Failing to state that they will not enforce HB2 puts billions of dollars in federal funds in jeopardy. This morning, Gov. McCrory countered by filing a federal lawsuit against the DOJ in order to uphold HB2. The lawsuit denied the legislation was discriminatory, and it denounced the federal government’s actions as “a baseless and blatant overreach.”
HB2 supporters have defended the law as a vitally necessary response to an ordinance passed by the city of Charlotte that would have allowed citizens to use public accommodations—including bathrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms—that match their gender identity. (Charlotte’s ordinance was consistent with federal law and with similar statutes in more than 200 cities across the country.) And yet, HB2 goes much further than protecting the sanctity of public restrooms. The law clarifies that anti-discrimination and wage laws can be passed only by the state legislature and not by local governments; it voids anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation, gender identity, familial and marital status, and veteran status adopted by some North Carolina municipalities; it prohibits local governments from setting minimum wages above the state-mandated level; it eliminates the ability of those injured by discrimination from pursuing their claims in state court. Even if North Carolina complies with the DOJ’s directive, these portions of HB2 will remain in place.
Read the full post at Religion and Politics!