Monday, April 11, 2016


North Carolina has become the butt of the nation's jokes over the passage of HB2.  This is the law that requires people to use public bathrooms according to the gender on their birth certificate.  I just sent another letter to my state representative, Michelle Presnell, urging the repeal of this law.  She has proven to be somewhere to the right of the Tea Party and apparently has all the intellectual capability of a gnat.  Still, for better or for far, far, worse, she's my state representative, and I have to tell her what this pissed-off constituent has to say.  So here's what I just sent her.  If you're a North Carolina resident, feel free to copy this and send it to your representative as well.

Representative Presnell:

You recently passed HB2 and praised it as a common-sense bill.  I have to wonder what pharmaceuticals you’ve been taking if you think that bill meets the common-sense standard.  HB2 has far-reaching implications that go way beyond saying who can use which bathroom.

HB2 allows government officials to discriminate against LGBT people.  Government officials are required by their position to serve ALL the people, not just the ones they like.  This was settled in the 1960’s over race.  LGBT issues are the exact same thing.

HB2 allows businesses to discriminate against anybody they choose.  Again, this was settled in the 1960’s.  Apparently, Republicans weren’t listening.

HB2 limits how people can pursue claims of discrimination for almost any issue, not just over LGBT issues.  It limits discrimination claims over color, national origin, handicaps, race, and religion, among other things.  If you’re discriminated against in North Carolina, well, too bad, our Republican leaders don’t care.

HB2 prohibits a city or county from setting a minimum wage standard for private employers.  This is government meddling in the affairs of cities and counties.  You don’t like Washington meddling in North Carolina affairs; you shouldn’t meddle in local affairs, either.

HB2 requires people to use public restrooms according to the gender listed on their birth certificates.  Can you explain exactly how you will enforce that?  Maybe this is your idea of job growth: hire guards to sit outside all public bathrooms in the state to check birth certificates!

HB2 violates federal Title 9 law, which prohibits discrimination in all school programs.  NC schools rely on hundreds of millions of federal dollars.  How will you replace those funds when they disappear because of HB2?

HB2 addresses a problem that DOESN’T EXIST.  Until Charlotte passed their symbolic law, nobody had any issues with going to the bathroom.  Even Columbia, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach, all in super-conservative South Carolina, have passed laws similar to Charlotte’s and have had no problems.  Not only that, but Governor Nikki Haley has rejected calls for a law similar to HB2 and is welcoming all the business that North Carolina is losing.

Meanwhile, at last count, HB2 has cost North Carolina at least 900 jobs (400 in Charlotte, 500 in Asheville), plus income associated with several concerts, and is jeopardizing future opportunities such as the NBA All-Star Game, the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournaments in 2017 and 2018, the CIAA basketball tournament, and ESPN’s X Games.  Meanwhile multiple business conferences are being moved elsewhere and the Asheville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is beginning to see cancellations from both businesses and tourists.

This is stupid.

HB2 is bad policy.  HB2 is bad politics.  HB2 is illegal.  HB2 is killing business.  


Repeal HB2 now!