NORTH CAROLINA’S SO-CALLED “BATHROOM LAW” has already had received a lot of backlash. The law was signed back in March after the city of Charlotte passed a city ordnance that would prevent local businesses from discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation. The state government quickly responded by passing the “bathroom law” which prevents any city from passing a law that protects LGBTQ people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
It’s been called the “bathroom law” because anti-discrimination measures like the one in Charlotte allow transgender people to use the public restroom with which they identify, regardless of what gender they were assigned at birth. The justification North Carolina has used is that it protects women and children from sexual predators in public bathrooms. This, of course, is nonsense — there are literally zero confirmed reports of sexual predators pretending to be transgender in order to get into a women’s bathroom.
The uproar against the North Carolina bill has been huge. Major performing artists like Bruce Springsteen have refused to play in the state, while others, like trans punk star Laura Jane Grace have toured the state as a form of protest. 21st Century Fox has suggested they may not film future movies in North Carolina unless the law is removed from the books, and PayPal and Deutsche Bank have already abandoned plans to expand in the state, costing the state hundreds of jobs.
The backlash has been a painful one for the North Carolina economy, but NC Governor Pat McCrory has doubled down, and refuses to prevent the bill from being enforced.
He may have a lot more trouble with that now: the Justice Department just said that the North Carolina bill violates federal law. The reason? It’s illegal to discriminate against people. If North Carolina continues to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the Federal Government could cut the state off from millions of dollars in federal funds, including to local schools.
This would be a huge blow to the state of North Carolina, and all over a bigoted bill that should never have been passed in the first place. Those in favor of “bathroom laws” claim that sexual orientation and gender identity should not fall under anti-discrimination rules. But that’s not the direction the country’s heading.
It remains to be seen how North Carolina will respond to the Federal decision. There’s a good chance it will not end here — likely, it will end up in the courts. If it makes it to the Supreme Court, it could decide nationwide whether this type of discrimination is constitutional or not. And if the Federal government’s decision is upheld, this would be a huge win for the transgender movement.