May 26th, 2016

Five things to know about North Carolina’s House Bill 2



By Amanda Wilcox

In late March, North Carolina governor Pat McCrory signed into law a controversial bill requiring transgender individuals to use the bathroom corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity. The bill overrides an anti-discrimination ordinance issued in the city of Charlotte in February. Here’s what House Bill 2 means for the transgender community and for the state of North Carolina:

  1. North Carolina legislators who supported the bill claim it is designed to protect women and children from sexual predators in bathrooms and locker rooms. Governor McCrory justified the bill in a March 23 tweet referring to the Charlotte ordinance: 

    There has been no evidence suggesting transgender non-discrimination laws lead to an increase in violence or crime in restrooms anywhere else in the country.

  2. The law has been nicknamed the “bathroom bill,” but it actually has more to do with anti-discrimination ordinances and makes it more difficult for state courts to enforce existing anti-discrimination laws. 
  3. The law has already caused significant economic consequences for North Carolina. Thousands of customers and dozens of retailers and designers withdrew from the High Point Market, a spring furniture show. The event typically pumps about $5 billion into North Carolina’s economy and, according to a Duke University study, is North Carolina’s “single largest economic event” each year. PayPal abandoned plans for an operations center in Charlotte, which would have provided 400 jobs. Musicians such as Bruce Springsteen canceled concerts in response to the bill.
  4. Voters in North Carolina are deeply conflicted about House Bill 2. Approximately 36 percent of eligible voters support the law and 45 percent are opposed. Fifty-three percent of voters feel that it has had an overall negative impact upon the state. Extensive protests have occurred on both sides of the issue. Supporters have used incendiary slogans such as “No Men in Women’s Bathrooms” and opponents have popularized hashtags on Twitter such as #NoHateInMyState.
  5. Lawsuits are already underway both in opposition and support of House Bill 2. In early May, the United States Department of Justice sued Governor McCrory, stating that House Bill 2 violated federal civil rights laws. Later that day, Governor McCrory and the North Carolina legislature responded with a lawsuit of their own against the Department of Justice.

For further information, consult the following:

‘For transgender people in North Carolina, it’s about more than bathrooms’

‘Responding to HB 2 critics, North Carolina governor signs new order’

Attorney General Lynch tells transgender community ‘we see you’

‘How N.C. signed a bill dubbed the most anti-LGBT law in the U.S.’

Also check out the Daily News Story on HB2’s economic repercussions:

Fallout from transgender law hits North Carolina’s wallet

Amanda Wilcox is a senior at TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. She will be attending Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina next year. 

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