Today, my home state of North Carolina, will spend $42,000 out of the tax-payer’s coffers to abolish Charlotte’s Sec. 2-151 ordinance . Ironically, the so called “bathroom ordinance” goes beyond simply protecting the rights of its citizens based on gender identity or sexual orientation but also safeguards those with disabilities. Their actions are ironic because, we disabled individuals, are their favorite source of inspiration porn. As a veteran Autism Specialist for the NC school system and an individual on the spectrum myself, I am fully acquainted with the falling-all-over-themselves, conspicuous displays many southern evangelicals partake in. I can’t count how many times I’ve been patronizingly told how their god made me, “so special” and that individuals like my students were put here to, “teach us a lesson.” Many of this mindset are completely missing the point. Those of non-majority status don’t want your piety and pity, we want equality.
To his credit, Governor Pat McCrory was not a part of this discriminatory maneuver spearheaded by his own party. Rather, McCrory, who served as mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009, understands the governance of a city who garners regular national attention. Charlotte is the home of Bank of America, as well as, the second largest banking center in the United States. Most leaders of metro areas in conservative states acquiesce that painting a target of discrimination across your city’s back is a fine way evaporate business dealings with those from less hostile sections of our union. Rather, our governor suggested that state representatives wait until North Carolina’s senate and house resumed regular sessions on April, 25th 2016, a mere thirty-two days away, so that the state could save the cash and better hash out the tenants of their actions. Instead, the state’s party of fiscal conservatives and proponents of small government have opted for an expensive, intrusive interjection. So, for the time being, Charlotte’s disabled population will also go without protection, an unintended causality of fervent bigotry by those who claim to love us most. #WeAreNotThis
*Update, It seems I was incorrect, Pat McCrory is an asshole.
Earlier this year the city of Charlotte did its part in etching away at the legal discriminatory practices against our LGBT citizens. In my opinion, the ordinance doesn’t go nearly far enough. In the eyes of one of NC’s most prominent Christian Conservative groups, it’s ghastly. Franklin Graham @Franklin_Graham, son of prominent anti-Semite Billy Graham,* said the following about the ordinance, “it’s wicked and it’s filthy.” So, what’s this anxiety inducing decree all about? Basically, it states that public businesses will not be allowed to turn away customers whom they perceive to be LGBT, nor can they make a fuss about people they believe to be transgender using the facilities of their corresponding gender. No worries, in North Carolina and many other states, you can still fire someone for being gay and even state so openly. Yes, that’s fucking legal. Only two other cities in the southeast have made any strides in this area. Myrtle Beach and Colombia, SC both have similar civil rights laws.
The canard on which The North Carolina Family Policy Council @ncfamilyorg presents its case involves the imagined rampant abuse transgendered women will pitch forth upon other women and girls. While sexual assaults on both males and females happen in public restrooms everyday, it’s often not those who have the bravery to live their lives out loud who do so. Instead, it’s people like former North Carolina Family Policy Council leader, Coy Privette, who in 2007, while commissioner of Cabarrus county, and also a so called, “pastor” was arraigned on no less than six counts of solicitation of prostitution. Prior to this, our charmer, Mr. Privette, served on the NC house of representatives from 1985-1992. Unbelievably, he did not even lose his commissionership but, rather, was censured and continued to serve until 2010. I suppose the biggest blow resulting from Privette poking his pee pee where it didn’t belong was losing the vice-presidency of The Cabarrus County Republican Men’s Club. Behind closed doors, there were probably pats on the back, smiles and laughter about his little predicament.
Now the same group has garnered 13,000 signatures from my state’s rouges gallery of bigots to behest our legislatures to convene for a one day emergency session to overturn said ordinance to the tune of $42,000 in tax payer mula. Yes, that’s the cost of a one day retreat to Raleigh for the Tea Party class. That’s enough to pay the yearly salary of a mid-career NC school teacher.
Now, where does the real danger lie? The truth is that a transgendered women’s (and man’s) life is in peril almost every minute she has the bravery to live as herself in such a hateful environment. She is the one in palpable peril, each time the law forces her to go into a men’s restroom presenting as a her true gender, female. In such a scenario it’s inevitable that the right redneck is alone in the wrong place with our unfortunate fellow citizen, who may very well suffer, not only a beating, humiliation or sexual assault but quite possibly the fate of Matthew Shephard @MattShepardFDN . I’ll be damned if Charlotte or any other city in North Carolina will become the next Laramie.