North Carolina’s New Anti-LGBTQ Law Is Vicious, Shameful, and Unconstitutional

Mar 24, 2016

Photo credit: North Carolina Department of Transportation/Flickr

By Mark Joseph Stern

On Wednesday night, in the course of just a few hours, North Carolina became the most anti-LGBTQ state in the country.

In a special session called for exactly this purpose—and which cost taxpayers $42,000 a day—the legislature passed a stunningly vicious, completely unprecedented bill stripping LGBTQ North Carolinians of their rights. The measure revokes local gay and trans nondiscrimination ordinances throughout the state, effectively legalizing anti-LGBTQ discrimination, and forbids trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. That includes trans public school students, many of whom will now, in effect, be barred from using the bathroom at school.

Shortly after the legislature passed the bill—over the objections of every Senate Democrat, all of whom walked out of the chamber in protest—Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law. Explaining that he was eager to nullify Charlotte’s new LGBT nondiscrimination measure, McCrory wrote, “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.”

McCrory should know something about government overreach. The gallingly cruel bill he just signed doesn’t just transgress basic norms of decency and morality. It also violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

As interpreted by the Department of Education, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 forbids discrimination against trans students in any school that receives federal funding. These schools are prohibited from excluding trans students from the bathroom consistent with their gender identity. The new North Carolina law, dubbed H2, rebukes this federal mandate by forbidding public schools from allowing trans students to use the correct bathroom. That jeopardizes the more than $4.5 billion in federal education funding that North Carolina expected to receive in 2016. Without that money, many schools in the state—from kindergarten through college—will be unable to function. McCrory should prepare to explain to North Carolina parents why their children’s access to education is less important than degrading and demeaning trans students on account of their identity.

HB 2 is also unconstitutional—not maybe unconstitutional, or unconstitutional-before-the-right-judge, but in total contravention of established Supreme Court precedent. In fact, the court dealt with a very similar law in 1996’s Romer v. Evans, when it invalidated a Colorado measure that forbade municipalities from passing gay nondiscrimination ordinances. As the court explained in Romer, the Equal Protection Clause forbids a state from “singl[ing] out a certain class of citizens” and “impos[ing] a special disability upon those persons alone.” Such a law is “inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class it affects,” and under the 14th Amendment, “animosity” toward a “politically unpopular group” is not a “proper legislative end.” Just like the law invalidated in Romer, HB 2 “identifies persons by a single trait”—gay or trans identity—“and then denies them protection across the board.” The Equal Protection Clause cannot tolerate this “bare desire to harm” minorities.


Source: Slate

14 comments on “North Carolina’s New Anti-LGBTQ Law Is Vicious, Shameful, and Unconstitutional

  • I think USA stands for:

    United States of Antiquita

    or maybe: United States of Asses

    And NC is now the abbreviation for “Non compis”

    Clearly North Carolina is unconcerned about the way they are perceived by the outside world, assuming any of them are actually aware that there is a world beyond their borders



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  • I think this law is primarily designed to reassure the voters of the politicians’ bigotry. If anybody challenges this, surely the supreme court will overturn the law. You can’t go arbitrarily scapegoating groups, denying them standard civil rights.



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  • It’s hard to know where to start with putting my disgust into words with such people in the world. A long time ago I came to the sad conclusion that what differentiated the USA from most other countries was that it is actually two separate nations populated by two different species. On the coasts primarily, or more correctly the four corners of the lower 48, live the blue species who in most respects seem passably similar to most other humans such as we Brits. However running down the centre in what I like to call The Great Swathe of Stupid, and in a few other places such as the bible belt and the Carolinas live the red species who at times I find it difficult to even think of as fully human.

    They appear to be devoid of empathy, have no concern for the poor or disadvantaged and continue to repeat the same actions while expecting a different outcome such as trying to repeal Obamacare 50 times or reducing tax rates in the vain hope that it will increase tax revenue in what Einstein categorised as a sure fire test for insanity.

    One might have thought that at least in an election year they’d try and keep the most egregious aspects of their madness out of the public eye but apparently not. At least anyone thinking of voting for Trump can see what sort of people Republicans represent now. Vile bigots who should be driven out of office and never allowed to return.



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  • Last year while watching tv I chanced across a program called My Transgender Summer Camp on Channel 4. I missed the first few minutes but caught those on a repeat sometime later. It was about transgender children in America, the hatred and discrimination they face and how a few good people on the other side of the fence try and make up for this, especially at the summer camp that has been set up for them where for a short while each year they can live in an environment of love and safety.

    It was the most extraordinarily uplifting and beautiful program I’ve ever seen. Towards the end of it a schoolteacher is featured trying to help and advise one of the trans children in his care and saying how proud he is of her bravery and fortitude in the face of the bigotry she faces on a daily basis. You could see how much his concern and love meant to her as her face lit up. I was so moved I tracked this teacher down on google and emailed him at his school to say how much his concern for this little girl had meant to me. He in turn shared my emails with her parents to let them know that there were at least some people out there in the world who didn’t hate others for their differences. He reported back to me that they had been incredibly touched by all this and delighted that the program they had featured in had affected people’s lives.

    When you see what it is like on the bigoted side of the fence with these legislators trying to undo all the good work that a few good folks devote their time to it fills me with despair.

    Anyway you can watch the program here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmyQxdzOPVQ

    or on the Channel 4 website, or via a torrent download.



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  • @OP – The measure revokes local gay and trans nondiscrimination ordinances throughout the state, effectively legalizing anti-LGBTQ discrimination,

    Meanwhile, in England, a more constructive approach is taken in dealing with bigots who are in positions to assert their bigotry.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-35910396

    A Christian magistrate who was sacked over comments he made on television against same-sex adoption has been suspended by an NHS trust.

    Richard Page was struck off after he told the BBC it would be better for a man and a woman to adopt.

    He has been suspended as non-executive director by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT).

    Mr Page said it was no longer possible to be a Christian and maintain a role in public life.

    KMPT chairman Andrew Ling wrote to the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) requesting the suspension.

    He said Mr Page’s comments and continuance as a trust member would have a major impact on staff and patients, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) staff.

    “It is vital that patients and local population are confident that KMPT will challenge stigma or discrimination.”

    But Mr Page, who worked in mental health for 20 years, said: “It would appear no longer possible to be a Christian, to state what the Bible actually says and what the Church has believed for 2,000 years, and maintain a role in public life in today’s Britain.

    Mr Page was reprimanded in 2014 for allowing his religious beliefs to influence an adoption case.

    Speaking about his views, he told Ms Wyatt: “My responsibility as a magistrate, as I saw it, was to do what I considered best for the child.

    What is “right for the child” is an issue of competently evaluated evidence, not doctrinaire bigoted beliefs!
    The legal rights of prospective adopting parents, also trump individual religious the beliefs in administrative decision making!



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  • It seems that money is speaking louder than religion. I don’t suppose it’s big business getting a conscience…. N’ah. That couldn’t be it. But the good news is that if North Carolina goes ahead with the bill discriminating against people on the basis of a naturally occurring trait, then big business seems to be saying they’ll move their money elsewhere.

    Major companies in North Carolina and across the nation have been quoted over the last 24 hours “taking a stand” against that state’s instantly-infamous House Bill 2, which strikes down already-enacted legal protections for LGBT persons in Charlotte and nine other municipalities and prohibits the passage of any new anti-discrimination measures in the state. The law was signed late Wednesday night by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

    And indeed, a passel of big businesses have issued statements reaffirming their “commitment to nondiscrimination.” Those words from Bank of America, which is headquartered in Charlotte, the state’s most important commercial center. BofA also expressed its “support for LGBT employees through progressive workplace policies.” Among the others lining up on the side of nondiscrimination are Dow Chemical, Facebook and Biogen, which have industrial facilities in the state, and Google, Apple and American Airlines, which operates a regional hub at Charlotte airport.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-nc-antigay-20160325-snap-htmlstory.html



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  • David R Allen #10
    Mar 29, 2016 at 2:19 am

    It seems that money is speaking louder than religion. I don’t suppose it’s big business getting a conscience…. N’ah. That couldn’t be it. But the good news is that if North Carolina goes ahead with the bill discriminating against people on the basis of a naturally occurring trait, then big business seems to be saying they’ll move their money elsewhere.

    I posted a link showing a similar situation in Georgia, here:-

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/03/will-nathan-deal-sign-the-new-religious-liberty-measure/#li-comment-200728
    Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” a Disney spokesman told Variety last week.



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  • There’s a fairly simple reason why the Bill in Georgia was vetoed and the one in North Carolina was signed. Governor McCrory in NC is up for re-election this year and he can’t afford to lose the support of the religious right who were pressuring him to sign this disgusting legislation. However in JawJaw Governor Deal isn’t up for re-election in 2016 so he’s less worried about votes at this exact moment than he is about losing big corporations who have operations in his state, the jobs that go with them and then getting hammered by the Dems on his unemployment stats in a couple of years time.

    As I said a couple of weeks ago, politicians are just mirrors of their electorate and exist only at their whim. It’s not hard to be disgusted by politicians like McCrory but he wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for millions of Americans who are equally vile and whose opinions he represents. Change the culture and the politicians like him will also disappear. In time as the angry old white men die off and a more tolerant and open younger generation take their place this will happen anyway.



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  • @OP – The measure revokes local gay and trans nondiscrimination ordinances throughout the state, effectively legalizing anti-LGBTQ discrimination, and forbids trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

    So this stupid law is going to force shapely trans-blonds of female appearance with gender reassignment, to use the gents toilets, rather than going to a cubicle in the ladies!!!

    Don’t they have enough brain to see a problem with that?

    Goodness knows where the hermaphrodites will go?



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  • Alan4discussion #13
    Mar 31, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Don’t they have enough brain to see a problem with that?

    Oh Alan, you seem to have forgotten that right wing deluded puritans insist on brutal punishment for lascivious behavior of all types. Sluts must be punished with unwanted babies, poverty and public humiliation. Gays and other types of sexual “freaks” must be outed and beaten by sexually “correct” upstanding family men. Forcing trans people to reveal themselves in this way makes their task soooo much easier. They consider it to be their duty to set the rest of society on the straight and narrow path to puritanical wholesome correctness. That’s how their story goes.



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