Deutsche Bank is canceling a planned expansion that would have added 250 jobs in North Carolina. Paypal cancelled plans to open a new global payment center in Charlotte, which was expected to bring 400 new jobs to the city. Stephen Schwartz, the Tony Award-winning Broadway composer, halted all productions of “Wicked.” Lionsgate cancelled an eight-day production shoot. Thirteen planned conventions have been cancelled and 29 more are on hold. What do all of these companies have in common? The North Carolina HB2 (House bill 2), the Public Facilities Privacy and Securities Act, which requires people, specifically transgender people, to use public restrooms, according to the biological sex on their birth certificate. In other words, if you were born a man, with male “parts,” you are required to use the men’s room. If you were born a woman, with female parts, you are required to use the women’s room. This bill is causing a national debate and creating an economic tsunami in North Carolina.
Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, issued a statement about the 2017 All-Star Game. He said they will “yank” the NBA All-Star game from Charlotte if the state doesn’t change its controversial anti-LGBT laws. He is quoted as saying, “We’ve been, I think, crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event,” Silver told reporters. Bruce Springsteen said, “The bill is an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”
So, let me get this straight. If I don’t agree with Bruce, I’m pushing our country backwards? I know he’s the Boss, but come on? That’s not fair. Now my good friend, on the other hand, believes that I’m looking at this all wrong. From her point of view, Bruce is simply exercising his belief in equal rights for all people. He chooses not to do business in that state, and that’s his right. Look, I realize that he uses his fame and does a hell of a lot of humanitarian work, but when your band member says that this bill is spreading an “Evil virus,” that’s serious hyperbole.
In fact, I consider myself to be a very open person. I’m a live and let live kind of gal. I don’t call police if a neighbor is having a loud party, and I don’t judge people by their lifestyle. Yet this law doesn’t make sense to me. I look at the reality of grown men using women’s restrooms and it’s a hard pill to swallow. I don’t discriminate against anyone, and never have. But at some point, we have to use basic common sense.
I personally feel that big companies, media, and celebrities who have a platform are bullying us. What about the silent majority that doesn’t want a 60-year-old man in a woman’s restroom with their 6-year-old daughter? Or a high school-aged boy who has gone through puberty, in the girls’ locker room when they are in the shower after PE? Where did open discussion and dialogue go? Apparently, I’m a bigot if I don’t go along with the “Celeb cause du jour” or choose to question the issue?
Look at Curt Schilling. ESPN just fired him for sharing a meme on Facebook that was demeaning to transgender people, calling him “Transphobic.” Curt’s response, “ A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with; men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”
My friend is right about one thing: This is a bigger issue than the HB2 Bill. But it offends the hell out of me when anyone implies that I’m racist or a bigot because I disagree with his or her POV.
What say you? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.