I'm pissed off at North Carolina over the anti-trans House Bill 2, and I'm sure many of your readers are too. I know that we still fail to have federal anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, and that many states have no protections in place. However, our movement has shown that if we raise a stink in a few states, we can have a cascading impact. Trans youth in Tennessee stood up to this crap and fought back, and won. I think NC needs to hear how bad this is for their state from every angle.
Every state wants tourism. So how about we bombard Visit North Carolina with messages they can't ignore? I've cancelled any considerations I had of traveling to or through NC. I wrote Visit NC a pointed letter today as an angry trans person not willing to spend one cent in the state until this bill is repealed. If more people piled on, they'll have to address how bad bigotry is for business.
Big businesses are already making threats to stay out of NC. But average people can add to the economic pressure! So please send your readers here to leave a message on Visit North Carolina. And encourage them to tweet at Visit North Carolina via twitter: @visitnc.'
And of course, everyone should also sign on to petitions against the law from the National Center for Transgender Equality. There's actions to take whether or not you live there.
Thanks, Dan! I'm a longtime reader and I've watched you become a passionate advocate for the trans community. Anything more you can do to amplify the voices against this horrible bill would be great!
Too Angry To Make A Fitting Acronym
Happy to help get the word out, TATMAFA—and I'm going to urge all of my readers and followers to take your advice. Please bombard Visit North Carolina with messages, burn up their Twitter feed, and sign every petition you can.
For anyone who hasn't been paying attention: Dominic Holden has two great pieces up at Buzzfeed about the hateful law North Carolina's legislature passed in a special session on Wednesday. Here's Dominic on the passage of the law itself, and here's Dominic on the growing backlash against the law.
But the law—which was motivated by anti-LGBT animus—doesn't just target trans people or all LGBT people for discrimination. Caitlin MacNeal at TPM:
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) late Wednesday night signed rushed legislation that, as is widely known, eliminates local governments' ability to pass anti-discrimination measures to protect gay and transgender individuals. But what received less immediate attention was that the new law guts workplace discrimination protections for virtually everyone. A section of the new law alters the state's law that had allowed private sector employees to sue their employers under state law discrimination on the basis of of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap. "It takes away a right that people have had for 30 years," Bill Rowe, the director of advocacy at the North Carolina Justice Center told TPM on Friday. "It’s a pretty big change that caught us all by surprise."
The law also targets veterans:
The bill would also end anti-discrimination protections for veterans. At least two North Carolina jurisdictions—Greensboro and Orange County—have anti-discrimination ordinances in place banning bias based on military or veteran status. Under the new measure, cities and counties would be prohibited from passing protections for veterans or service members.
And, finally, the law prohibits local governments—counties and cities—from raising the minimum wage.
There have been loud and crowded street protests since the passed—they're loud, crowded, and growing—but David Graham at the Atlantic argues that the quiet and menacing backlash from big business is likelier to have an impact:
Liberal protests against Republican initiatives in Raleigh have been par for the course for four years, with little effect. But the business backlash could sting. On Wednesday, as the bill was being considered, Dow Chemical, Biogen, and Raleigh-based software company Red Hat all opposed it. Others have since added their voices, including IBM, American Airlines, PayPal, and Apple. (Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is openly gay and graduated from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.) As my colleague Gillian White reported this week, North Carolina has sought to make itself a hub for tech companies and startups. Democrats in the state say the law could endanger federal Title IX funding for schools.
The NBA, in a statement, suggested it might reconsider plans to host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte. The NCAA also suggested the law might cause it to change plans to hold elements of its annual college-basketball tournament and other events in the Old North State—a move that could resonate in this hoops-crazed state.
These business statements do carry sway in the state—the question is how much.
Finally, TATMAFA, it's kind of ironic how you linked to the Human Rights Campaign when pointing out how we still don't have federal LGBT civil rights protections and, consequently, it's perfectly legal to discriminate against LGBT people in most states. Here's Michelangelo Signorile on that bitter irony:
In the past 24 hours, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT group, has come under intense fire on social media, including from many transgender people, for its lack of a strategy in combating the rapid passage of a heinous anti-LGBT law in North Carolina which strips existing LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances in the state and bars transgender people from using public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. But that criticism has followed an even more intense, week-long pummeling of the group on social media as well as from pundits and commentators, because of the group’s very curious endorsement earlier this month of Senator Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican whose defeat in November is critical to the Democrats winning back control of the Senate.
Kirk, in a very tough re-election, has come out in support of The Equality Act, a sweeping federal anti-discrimination bill protecting LGBT people, and had voted to end “don’t ask, don’t tell.” But Kirk has only earned a score of 78 percent out of 100 percent from HRC, while his opponent, Democratic House member Tammy Duckworth, has a score of 100 — in addition to a real shot at taking the seat and handing Democrats the Senate. David Nir, political director at Daily Kos, called the endorsement as “appalling as it is embarrassing,” and “pathetic and stupid.” Mark Joseph Stern at Slate acknowledged the “long game” HRC may be playing in backing GOPers who vote pro-gay, but nonetheless drew the line at allowing the terribly anti-gay GOP leadership to retain the Senate this year, observing that HRC “does not seem to grasp...simple reality.”
And while we're all talking about what these assholes just did in North Carolina... the fucking Republicans go and do this in Indiana.