Yesterday, Republican leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly passed an utterly reprehensible anti-LGBT bill, in order to override a nondiscrimination ordinance passed in Charlotte. It was introduced and passed within 10 hours, and Republican Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill hours after it was passed.
Via Eastsidekate, here is the full of text of the bill, which details the appalling scope of what was passed into law.
The Republican Party didn't give the people of their state any time to respond to the legislation, any time to protest, or any time to petition. They just rammed through some of the most indecent legislation to be passed in any state.
State lawmakers pushed the measure in response to a nondiscrimination ordinance adopted in the city of Charlotte that, among other things, allowed people to use the bathroom that matched with their gender identity. Legislators said immediate action was necessary to protect children and women from sexual predators who might pose as transgender to gain access to women's restrooms.McCrory justified his quick signing of the legislation by saying: "The basic expectation of privacy in the most personal of settings, a restroom or locker room, for each gender was violated by government overreach and intrusion by the mayor and city council of Charlotte. [The Charlotte ordinance] defies common sense and basic community norms by allowing, for example, a man to use a woman's bathroom, shower, or locker room."
But gay rights groups called the measure blatantly discriminatory and condemned it as the most extreme bill of its kind in the nation.
"Legislators have gone out of their way to stigmatize and marginalize transgender North Carolinians by pushing ugly and fundamentally untrue stereotypes that are based on fear and ignorance and not supported by the experiences of more than 200 cities with these protections," Sarah Preston, acting executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, said in a statement.
I have previously written about the despicable "trans predator" narrative used to justify "bathroom bills," and about how I do not want to be used to justify discriminatory legislation against the LGBT community.
I am enraged that this gross legislation was passed, and done so under the auspices of protecting people like me.
And I am enraged by the profoundly anti-democratic process by which this legislation was enacted. The Republicans can sit on their asses doing fuck-all for the country, refusing to do their jobs, until they have a chance to pass some discriminatory, hateful bullshit, and then suddenly they're ALL ACTION.
I take up space in solidarity with the LGBTQI people of North Carolina, who are now left with no option but to pursue recourse through the courts. And, in the meantime, will be unsafe, because the people elected to represent them cynically and cruelly misrepresent them as the threat.
The real threat is the Republican caucus of the North Carolina General Assembly.