You haven’t heard much about conservatives pissing all over gay rights in awhile so it appears we’re due. North Carolina and Georgia, for example, raised many eyebrows and enraged many when they passed ‘religious liberty’ bills that would make it easy for businesses to reject gays. Realizing that gay people have money too, the Governor of Georgia thankfully vetoed the legislation. North Carolina, however, is a much more different story.
A collection of civil rihgts groups are suing North Carolina in Federal Court over HB 2, the discriminatory anti-LGBT law the General Assembly passed and Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law in March. Referring to the 14th Amendment and Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, the suit specifically names Gov. Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, the University of North Carolina, its Board of Governors, and several UNC officials as defendants.
By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution, the 45-page lawsuit charges.
In a process rife with procedural irregularities, the legislature introducmcced and passed H.B. 2 in a matter of hours, and the governor signed the bill into law that same day, the lawsuit states. Lawmakers made no attempt to cloak their actions in a veneer of neutrality, instead openly and virulently attacking transgender people, who were falsely portrayed as predatory and dangerous to others. While the discriminatory, stated focus of the legislature in passing H.B. 2—the use of restrooms by transgender people—is on its own illegal and unconstitutional, H.B. 2 in facts wreaks far greater damage by also prohibiting local governments in North Carolina from enacting express anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
American attitudes towards gay marriage and gay rights have vastly changed, and many democratic politicians have followed suit. And yet a handful of conservative states like North Carolina just can’t seem to live in the 21st century.
Featured image via screen capture