We have been following the fate of the anti-LGBT House Bill 2 in North Carolina after major sports events were pulled from the state. The law is a huge issue in next week’s election and a new poll finds voters really confused.
From the Charlotte Observer:
Fifty-five percent of the 798 likely voters questioned on Oct. 25 and 26 said HB2, which has become a focus of the race for governor, should be repealed. Thirty-two percent disagreed.
Support remains for one of the bill’s key provisions -- overturning a Charlotte ordinance that let transgender people use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. Nearly half the voters agreed the policy could lead to sexual predators attacking victims in bathrooms, while 42 percent disagreed.
The noxious bathroom provision is the major feature of HB2, which also prevent cities from passing LGBT rights ordinances. So a majority of North Carolinians want the bill repealed, yet a plurality want to force transgender people to use the bathroom of the sex that’s on their birth certificate.
I think the confusion stems from the sadly successful fear campaign waged by people opposed to LGBT rights, who have made bathrooms the central focus (similar fears led voters in Houston last year to kill an LGBT ordinance). For example, the Observer quoted one man upset at how quickly HB2 has passed and its negative impact on business in North Carolina. Yet the same man also said:
“What I don’t want is some male pervert going into a (women’s) restroom just because they feel like it and be protected by the law, or the lack of law, that would allow for that behavior,” he said. “There’s got to be a practical balance. There have to be clear minds in coming up with solutions, but there’s got to be some give on both sides of the issue.”
There is no “give” on allowing trans people to use the restroom of the gender they identify with. Transgender people are not “perverts” and laws already prohibit a man entering a women’s restroom to commit assault or other acts.
HB2’s fate may be decided next Tuesday when voters pick a new governor. Republican Pat McCrory, who supports the bill, trails his Democratic opponent Roy Cooper, who is against the bill, by an average of 3 percentage points, though the race is expected to go down to the wire. The law is also being challenged in the courts.
The loss of major sports events like the NBA All-Star Game, ACC college football championship game and NCAA men’s college basketball tournament games made HB2 a national story. Let’s hope the voters of North Carolina put an end to this sorry chapter in the state’s history.