Friday, August 5, 2016

FRC releases a video regarding the NBA - and a correction

Family Research Council (a designated hate group) is upset that the NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star game from North Carolina due to HB2. FRC relegates this entirely to bathroom policy which misses the point. HB2 preempted municipal nondiscrimination ordinances and made it perfectly legal for anyone throughout the state to discriminate against LGBT people. And the china comparison? It is irrelevant. The NBA can affect public policy here, where they are based, and not there.

In previous similar posts I have indicated that a large swath of urban North Carolina had nondiscrimination ordinances protecting LGBT or LG citizens. I  over-stated the municipalities involved. Some have ambiguous policies and some had nondiscrimination policies under consideration. In other words, the effect of HB2 remains but my examples were overly broad. I want to thank people who brought this to my attention and regret not addressing it more promptly.

The point is that even for transgender citizens, nondiscrimination protections are more than just bathrooms. They should include employment, housing and public accommodations. North Carolina has declared “Open Season” on LGBT citizens. It was mean and it was depraved. I suspect that it is also unconstitutional.

But let us discuss bathroom policy for a moment. Adult transgender people have been using public facilities for decades. They use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity and largely go unnoticed. The purpose of nondiscrimination ordinances that include trans access is to protect children. The objective is to prevent marginalizing and isolating the few transgender kids attending public schools. This is a tiny minority of children and they are entitled to the same dignity as everyone else.

These kids are more courageous than I am. They go to school knowing that every day is going to be a new challenge. They know that they face ridicule and derision by some of their classmates and some of their teachers. As a society cannot we at least make an effort to make life a bit easier for them? What the fuck happened to the golden rule?

This is the nondiscrimination ordinance for the City of Raleigh as of February 23, 2016. It is a good example of what was and what is:

(a) The policy of the City of Raleigh is, and shall be, to oppose any discrimination based on actual or perceived age, mental or physical disability, sex, religion, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial or marital status, economic status, veteran status or national origin in any aspect of modern life.

(b) The administration, committees, commissions, and boards of the City are hereby directed to use their full power and resources, as by law duly given, to prohibit and discourage discrimination as hereinabove mentioned.

(c) The City Manager and the City Attorney are directed to include within the terms of all contracts of and grants from the City a nondiscrimination provision which will carry out the effect of this section; provided that nothing in this section shall be construed to encroach upon the powers or immunities of the State or Federal governments.

(d) The City Manager is directed to establish such policies as will insure that there is no discrimination in any function or area of City government.

(e) All citizens of the City, individual and corporate, are hereby requested and urged to use their power and influence to the end that this City shall be one of equal opportunity for all citizens.
In reality, while well intentioned, this only protects LGBT citizens who are employed by contractors doing business with the city. Yet even that meager protection is now gone. Through HB2, the state has preempted (nullified) that provision.

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