I'm having some trouble understanding the logic behind North Carolina's HB2, the ordinance now being termed "the bathroom bill."
A bit of background: On Feb. 27, the city of Charlotte, N.C., passed an anti-discrimination ordinance that, among other things, enabled transgendered people to use rest rooms of the sex to which they had transitioned.
This made perfect sense.
These folks, through hormone injections and surgeries, made the transition from men to women or from women to men. They should use the rest room in which they feel comfortable. Shouldn't a person who identifies as a woman use the women's room? They are not, as some people seem to believe, "disguised" as women. They are, for all intents, actually women. I think a lot of people seem to not see that.
But this rankles at least most of the state's General Assembly. On March 23, they passed what we know as HB2, which, for some reason, requires men who now identify as women, dress as women and again, in most cases, have female attributes, to use the men's room because they were born men.
The stated reason is because there seems to be a perception — in North Carolina, at least — that transgendered people are sexual predators. The perception is that transgendered people have spent tens of thousands of dollars, and more, to transition to the opposite sex, apparently so they can gain access to rest rooms of young people of that sex for the purpose of assaulting them.
Has there been any evidence of this in North Carolina? No. I couldn't find any evidence of such assaults anywhere in the U.S. In fact, while several other states are considering such laws, I can't find any evidence of a similar law anywhere.
(Note: As of this writing, however, a small town in Alabama has criminalized transgendered people using the bathroom of the sex to which they've transitioned. The penalty for trying to pee — in private — in the "wrong" rest room is a $500 fine or up to six months in jail. Nice.)
Of course, as we all know, even people in North Carolina, sexual predators tend not to spend tens of thousands of dollars to transition to a woman so they can rape young children in rest rooms. They just do it. (Hello, Dennis Hastert.)
In this area, none of this is an issue. Are we smarter than people in North Carolina? No. But people in the Northeast may have more experience with this group, and understand that most, if not all, transgendered people would prefer to be left alone, and not treated like evil freaks. I can agree.
Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.