Letters to the Editor: House Bill 2

Letters to the Editor: House Bill 2
March 31
00:00 2016

N.C. NAACP decries passage of HB2

To the Editor:

All North Carolinians, all Americans, should be deeply concerned when the constitutional rights of their compatriots are being revoked and denied. Solidarity alone should be enough of a reason for every member of a civilized democracy to feel threatened and raise a moral dissent when certain members of society are under attack by the government that is held in place to serve them and protect their best interests. As history often reminds us, this is seldom the case.

For this reason the NC NAACP is intent on pointing out to all North Carolinians of good will that HB2 is not only an attack on transgender people and members of the LGBT community. These attacks alone constitute an undermining of the fabric of our democracy—the promise of equal protection under the law. Additionally, HB2 is as racist and classist as it is homophobic and transphobic.

The North Carolina NAACP came out against HB2 not only because it wrongfully attacks trans-gender people, which is bad enough. We emphasized that HB2 will also have a disproportionate negative impact on the aged, women, people of color, youth, immigrants, religious minorities, and other people who require anti-discrimination protections because of the tradition of violence levied against them.

HB 2 takes away the ability of cities and counties to raise the minimum wage and demand sick leave and minority hiring requirements from their contractors.

HB2 legalizes discrimination and then takes away the ability of citizens to file employment discrimination suits in state court!

HB2 is an attack on all North Carolinians who believe in the Constitution, who believe in equal protection under the law and who believe in democracy.

HB2 stands against every North Carolinian who believes that we as a state and as a people can rise above the hate and division that has haunted our nation for far too long.

HB2 was passed in an “Especially Hateful” session by a lawmaking body that never before called a Special Session to expand Medicaid, to address unemployment or earned income tax credit, or to overturn voter suppression.

HB2 represents the opposite of fusion politics—willfully sacrificing the welfare of the majority of North Carolinians in order to protect the few who can afford to purchase their representatives.

The cynical politics employed by HB2 should galvanize all who believe in justice to stand together on higher ground. Regressive, extreme legislation that hurts some of us, hurts us all. North Carolina is better than this, and it is time for us to prove it.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President

North Carolina NAACP

State Conference of Branches Durham

House Bill 2 doesn’t affect Wake Forest

To the Editor:

[On March 25, Wake Forest University issued the following statement regarding House Bill 2, legislation recently enacted by the North Carolina legislature]:

Wake Forest University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion remains unwavering and our non-discrimination statement includes protection for gender identity and sexual orientation. The new law does not apply to private institutions and will not impact Wake Forest’s employment practices, educational programs or campus activities in any way. Wake Forest underscores its commitment to creating an inclusive environment for all members of the University community as well as visitors to our campus.

Wake Forest University

House Bill 2 turns back civil rights progress

To the Editor:

House Bill 2 goes against NCAE’s core values of equality for every individual. This discriminatory law turns back decades of civil rights progress and hamstrings local governments from making their communities a reflection of their citizens and their beliefs.

Today we stand up with educators, businesses, and local government leaders for the rights of the LGBT community and all the citizens of North Carolina from discriminatory practices.

Rodney Ellis, President

N.C. Association of Educators


House Bill 2 rectifies violations of Charlotte ordinance

To the Editor:

Yesterday [March 23], the House & Senate came together for a special session to confront a crisis precipitated by the Charlotte City Council. Its ordinance was scheduled to go into effect on April 1.

The ordinance violated (1) the privacy of those who work, reside in and visit the City of Charlotte and every business throughout the state that does business with Charlotte (2) and the religious liberties of small business and nonprofits in Charlotte. The Charlotte City Council exceeded its legal authority by trying to assume functions that had never been delegated to it by the General Assembly.

Our office received over 4,200 emails asking me to pass legislation as soon as possible to address this ordinance. I was privileged to be a primary sponsor of the bill.

Session Law 2016-3 (House Bill 2), Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, passed by a vote of 82-to-26 in the House and a vote of 32-to-0 in the Senate. The bill was ratified and signed by Governor McCrory the same day. The committee summary is available here.

Five provisions are included in the law:

1. Require single sex multiple occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities in public schools and pub-lic agencies. The Charlotte ordinance tried to set restroom policy throughout the city even in private businesses. The new law sets common sense policy for government facilities but leaves private business free (subject to laws of indecent exposure).

2. Supersedes and preempts local ordinances, regulations, or resolutions imposing any requirements on employers pertaining to compensation of employees, with certain exceptions.

3. Prohibits cities and counties from requiring private contractors to abide by regulations or controls on employment practices or mandate or prohibit provision of goods, services, or accommodations to any member of the public, except as required by State law.

4. Supersedes and preempts local ordinances, regulations, or resolutions that regulate or impose any requirement on employers pertaining to discriminatory practices in employment.

5. Creates a new public policy of the state opposing discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, or biological sex in public accommodations.

This common sense law assures North Carolina residents, businesses and visitors that their reasonable expectation of privacy in public restrooms or changing facilities will be honored.

N.C. Rep. Paul Stam

Speaker Pro Tem

N.C. House of Representatives

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