In the state of North Carolina, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act has been passed which states that multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities be designated for use only by the “biological sex” stated on a person’s birth certificate. This has caused outrage among the LGBT community causing people to say it discriminates against transgender and gay residents.
The bill was passed after Charlotte, North Carolina, had already passed an ordinance for anti-discrimination laws, which granted gay and transgender people protection in places of public accommodation. That ordinance was supposed to go into effect April 1, but it did not. Now house bill two has passed, which not only repeals the Charlotte ordinance, it creates an inability to expand public accommodation protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Supporters of HB2 say it keeps girls safe in public restrooms. There are 18 other states which have the protections for gay and transgender people. So the argument regarding safety is off-base. Transgender people have typically been working their entire life to be seen as the sex they identify with, they have gone through a process that involves a lot of legal documents and a tough time in school for those starting at a young age. With all of that work put in, they aren’t going through the process for years at a time just to go into a bathroom and grab someone. They’re going to a public restroom because they, like everyone else on the planet, have bodily functions that need to be taken care of.
A secondary argument that may seem a bit obvious… what fully grown man is actually going to be able to pass for a woman? Also, not many parents let their children go to the bathroom unattended. There are just as many dangers to being in a public restroom with people born of the same sex as there are for people who identify as the same sex.
The law passed says that the sex listed on the birth certificate mitigates which bathroom will be used so I have to ask: who carries their birth certificate around in their pocket? No one. While on the topic, supporters should consider that if a woman is born and decides at a young age that she identifies as a man, she will then go through the process to allow the world to see her the way she does. He becomes the man he has always seen in the mirror, but in the legal struggle that is the American judicial system, he cannot get his birth certificate changed. Now he is at the age of 25 and stands at 6’2” with a full beard and muscles; however, because his birth certificate still reflects female he gets to walk into a women’s restroom and everyone, himself included, gets to feel awkward.
It’s also important to note that some states (Tennessee, for instance) do not allow transgender residents to change their birth certificate, at all under any circumstances. According to transequality.org though, North Carolina does allow those who have completed the full sex-change procedure and have signed forms from physicians, to change their birth certificate.
This legislation offends many, when it’s observed closely it’s blatant discrimination and it has caused a decrease in revenue for North Carolina that is very obvious. If North Carolina does not repeal their decision, what message will be given to other states? Does the bathroom bill have good intentions or is it hate-centered? Are we really in 2016 if people still cannot pee in peace?