North Carolina anti-LGBT law shows need for Equality Act

Statement by the
Freedom From Religion Foundation

A sweepingly discriminatory anti-LGBT bill passed Wednesday by the North Carolina Legislature shows once again why the federal Civil Rights Act needs to be amended to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Equality Act, endorsed by the White House, was introduced last July by Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) and Cory Booker (N.J.), and Rep. David N. Cicilline (R.I.).

“Civil liberties should not be dependent on the state you live in, or be subject to the tyranny of religious dogma,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “In a nation where our Constitution guarantees equal protection, and ‘Equal justice under the law’ is etched on the building housing our Supreme Court, it is simply wrong that LGBT individuals have rights in some cities, counties or states, and none in others.”

The new North Carolina law will prevent local governments from protecting LGBT citizens with local anti-discrimination ordinances. It would also force transgender people to use bathrooms according to their “biological sex,” which the act defines as the sex “stated on a person’s birth certificate.” This means a trans man—a person born female at birth but who identifies as male—with a beard, cowboy hat, boots, and a deep voice will be forced to use the women’s lavatory. Such is the logic of discrimination.  

Gov. Pat McCrory signed the measure into law Wednesday night, proudly and disingenuously tweeting: “I signed bipartisan legislation to stop the breach of basic privacy and etiquette, ensure privacy in bathrooms and locker rooms.” Never mind the complete lack of etiquette inherent in a discriminatory law that claims to protect privacy but would essentially require the government to peer down students’ trousers or up their skirts to ensure they’re using the “correct” bathroom.

The bill was rushed through in response to the Charlotte City Council’s new LGBT protections. The City Council’s good work of more than two years was undone in a day. The bathroom provisions are getting the most attention, but equally disturbing are the amendments that deliberately supersede and eliminate any local protections for our LGBT brothers and sisters.

McCrory has provided the secular movement with a poster child for why the separation of state and church is so necessary, and why the Equality Act must be passed.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

Send this to a friend