North Carolina Rep Skip Stam this week published a white paper called, Legends vs the Truth on HB2 to answer many questions his office has received since the General Assembly passed the bill and Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law after a special session was held on March 23.
Rep Stam says, “The narrative of the mass media is that HB 2, (Session Law 2016 – 3, “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act”) was a big change, an outrageous overreach which denies rights and is unenforceable.” A summary of his responses are outlined below:
- Legend 1: HB2 was a big change in North Carolina law. / TRUTH: With only one exception, HB2 codified what had been the law of North Carolina for decades.
- Legend 2: North Carolina is a unique outlier engaged in some vast overreach. / TRUTH: The North Carolina state law on non-discrimination is the same or very similar to that of 28 other states.
- Legend 3: Under HB2 the rights of LGBT persons are not protected. / TRUTH: LGBT persons have the same rights as all other North Carolinians.
- Legend 4: Proponents of the Charlotte type discrimination ordinance claim that HB2 sets them back a century. LGBT persons just want the same rights that everyone else already has. / TRUTH: Review the maps shown under Legend 2. Many bills have been filed in NC to allow local governments to extend characteristics for extra scrutiny to “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” and “gender expression.” NONE of these were ever passed by the General Assembly under Republican or Democratic majorities.
- Legend 5: “Sexual Orientation” is a reasonable and definable term in discrimination law. / TRUTH: No. “Sexual orientation” is inherently undefinable and undefined. What is the meaning of the word “orientation?” Is it purely subjective? Is it what is in a person’s mind or does it relate to behavior?
- Legend 6: “Gender Identity” is a reasonable and definable term. / TRUTH: President Obama’s Departments of Justice and Education have proven that “gender identity” is purely subjective.
- Legend 7: HB2 has no enforcement provisions and can be disregarded. / TRUTH: The same enforcement of the law concerning changing rooms, locker rooms and facilities is as before HB2. To intentionally go into a room or remain in a room that is marked for a person of the opposite sex is a misdemeanor called trespass.
- Legend 8: The employment non-discrimination provisions prohibit one from suing in state court for discrimination. / TRUTH: Under both Title VII (equal employment opportunity law) and under title 42 U.S.C. 1981, discrimination suits can be brought in state court through concurrent jurisdiction.
- Legend 9: HB2 takes away rights to sue for violations of the rights of the disabled. / TRUTH: The laws for disability discrimination are in Chapter 168A of the NC General Statutes and are quite robust. It complements the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Legend 10: HB2 means that one cannot sue for discrimination as a veteran. / TRUTH: Rights of veterans to sue are set out in other statutes. North Carolina has preferences & protections for veterans.
- Legend 11: HB2 requires one to use the locker room or changing room or restroom based on biological sex assigned at birth. / TRUTH: The law states “as shown on the birth certificate.” 46 states allow birth certificates to be changed after sex reassignment surgery.
- Legend 12: HB2 is a North Carolina problem. / TRUTH: In May, the State of Texas and 10 other states sued the federal government for relief from the same Presidential attack which has been launched against North Carolina.
- Legend 13: The federal government will take education money away if states do not cave in. / TRUTH: Under Title IX schools have the right to comply within 30 days after the completion of legal proceedings. In the 44 year history of Title IX not one school has lost funding.
- Legend 14: North Carolina will suffer financial disaster if it persists in HB2. / TRUTH: Since HB2 was signed into law, Site Selection Magazine4 stated that North Carolina and Texas were tied for FIRST PLACE in the competition to relocate new businesses and CEO Magazine ranked North Carolina 3rd in the nation as the BEST place to do business.
- Legend 15: The NBA, NCAA, ACC & the PGA will force North Carolina to back down. / TRUTH is that these organizations are themselves NOT in compliance with Title VII or Title IX as defined by President Obama. If the letter of the Departments of Justice and Education is converted into a law by the Federal Courts then the days are numbered for high school, collegiate, and professional women’s sports. Title IX was conceived as a boon to women in sports but, in the hands of President Obama, will be used as a weapon against them.
Read the full white paper, Legends vs the Truth on HB2 for footnotes and detailed explanations.