The House Bill 2, signed by Governor Pat McCrory last month, requires public schools, government buildings and public colleges to restrict their gender-based rooms and services to be used by people based on their legal biological sex, which is the one stated on their birth certificate.
If a transgender person would want to use the bathroom, then they may use the one corresponding to their current gender only if their birth certificate is modified in accordance.
The controversy surrounding HB2
The bill has caused an uproar on mainstream media since it was signed. It caused Bruce Springsteen to cancel a concert in Greensboro and it diverted PayPal from opening a new headquarters building in Charlotte.
HB2 also restricts businesses from imposing their own guidelines on accommodations. This means that businesses in North Carolina will not be able to set up guidelines that prohibit discrimination based on gender and sexual matters.
Mara Keisling, director of the National Center for Transgender Equality believes that they have battled hard, but it is not enough. She argues that the organization has done a great deal of educative efforts towards raising awareness about the rights of LGBT people, but it seems there is still much to do as “apparently, more Americans think they have seen a ghost than they know a trans person.”
Keisling noted that the positive side on this whole matter is the media coverage and the uproar that it is causing among the U.S. LGBT community. The passing of HB2 has also caused many trans-North Carolinians to fight for their rights “and finish the education that we know we have to be doing.”
People argue that the passing of HB2 is a political strategy to inflate the governor’s support, as he runs for a right-wing stand on values and civil matters so he can gain momentum in time for the upcoming gubernatorial election. It is the first time the state loses a state legislative dispute based on a transgender issue.
The argument is that the bill was passed “to ensure that the expectation of privacy would remain in our high schools and our universities and our community colleges,” which seems a little off as there are many threats to privacy, and up until now there hasn’t been a major concern for transgender people using the bathroom of their preference.
Although the bill has caused an important amount of rejection, it is one of the over 200 anti-LGBT bills that have been introduced this year in the United States.