The compromise that wasn’t

Remember that disgusting hate-filled piece of legislation out of North Carolina last year? The one crafted by Republicans at the last hour and rushed into law? The vile, discriminatory bill written in response to a Charlotte, NC Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO) which sought to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual folks, and transgender people?

That repugnant bill, commonly referred to at HB2 (here’s a breakdown of the bill),  was signed into law by then Governor  (R) Pat McCrory. Opponents of the law touted it as one of the most extreme anti-queer pieces of legislation they’d seen. Supporters of the bill simultaneously frothed at the mouth or tried to find some place to privately masturbate bc they were excited at the thought of sticking it to us. The bill eliminated anti-discrimination protections in place for queers (and we know how much it turns on Republicans to deny queers the right to make use of public businesses without discrimination). It also mandated that in government buildings workers were required to use the restrooms that corresponded to their birth sex.

The resultant backlash was immediate, fierce, and long lasting:

  • PayPal decided to not move ahead with a location in  NC
  • Global German banking institution Deutsche Bank decided not to expand into NC
  • the American Institute of Architects moved their conference out of NC
  • the Kellogg Foundation cancelled plans to host a conference in NC
  •  the 2017 NBA All moved their game out of NC
  • the NCAA stripped NC of its hosting rights
  • Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and many more artists cancelled concert appearances in the state
  • Cirque du Soleil cancelled performances
  • producer of Wicked will not allow the play to show in NC
  • and much more (which can be read here)

As months passed and the 2016 gubernatorial race hurled toward its conclusion, it became apparent to  both the knuckle-dragging conservative status quo supporters who supported the bill and the opponents of the bill that the election outcome would determine the future of HB2.  After all, despite the tremendous economic fallout HB2 had brought to North Carolina, GOP leadership (including Gov. McCrory),  in the state remained firm in their support for bigotry. Meanwhile, Attorney General Roy Cooper, who hoped to unseat McCrory, ran a campaign that opposed HB2. Ultimately, Cooper received on the necessary votes to win the governor’s office.  In the end, the economic fallout of HB2, as well  as the ridicule and derision the state received for its passage were instrumental in McCrory’s defeat (a defeat he would not accept for weeks bc he was a sole loser). With a Democrat in place as Governor one would think North Carolina’s year of hell might be drawing to a close. To social justice organizations and queer rights groups, it looked as if a reversal of HB2 was imminent.

Sadly, rather than a reversal of HB2, a compromise was reached.

“Compromise”.  That’s not quite the word HB2 opponents where hoping for. But it can’t be that bad, right? After all, we have a Democratic Governor in office now. One who opposes anti-queer discrimination. Yeeeeaaah. About that.

When newly  elected Democratic Governor  Roy Cooper recently met with the GOP legislature to begin the process of repealing HB2, the assumption held by many was that HB2 was not long for the world.  Part of the deal though reached between both parties, involved the creation of a new bill meant to take the place of HB2. That bill (House Bill 142) has been signed into law by Governor Cooper and though some have celebrated the new bill as some sort of success for the QUILTBAG community. IT AIN’T.

First of all the transgender community is still fucked over. The bill prohibits cities from taking any action to protect the right of trans people to use restrooms that correspond to their gender. Regarding bathroom legislation, the bill says:

State agencies, boards, offices, departments, institutions, branches of government, including The University of North Carolina and the North Carolina Community College System, and political subdivisions of the State, including local boards of education, are preempted from regulation of access to multiple occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities, except in accordance with an act of the General Assembly.”

It basically says unless you get permission from the Never Gonna Get Permission From Them Committee of Republican shitbags, no local governments can make chances that favor transgender people. Yeah, that’s reeeeeeeeeeeal compromising.  But wait, there’s more!

SECTION 3. No local government in this State may enact or amend an ordinance
regulating private employment practices or regulating public accommodations.
SECTION 4. This act is effective when it becomes law. Section 3 of this act
expires on December 1, 2020

And here we have the portion of the new bill which screws over all other queers.  No city would be able to pass any Non-Discrimination laws or regulate bathrooms until at least 2020. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how this is any kind of a compromise, bc of the two opposing parties here, the queer community has gained very little.  Transgender people are right back where they were–being able to use bathrooms matching their gender, but only the state of NC can make changes to existing laws regarding the regulation of access to changing areas, bathrooms, and similar facilities.

I bet you think this is over, huh?  One would think so. After all, who would want to risk thrusting North Carolina back into the spotlight as well as possibly threaten the state economy again?

In the case of one legislator, however, hundreds of millions in lost revenue, who knows how much in lost wages, and the contempt of civilians and government officials around the country (and even the globe) did not outweigh his mission.

“I Brenden Jones, do solemnly swear, to uphold the duties of the office of Douchelord Extraordinaire, which include but are not limited to deleting criticism of my bigotry on my public Facebook page, creating an echo chamber where the only voices I will listen to are those who agree with me, blocking dissenting voices from what is supposed to be a public page, and generally acting in as UN transparent a way as possible. I will never waver from my determination and commitment to replace Pat McCrory as North Carolina’s biggest piece of shit.”

No, for one Brenden Jones, what mattered most to him was the “vital issue of privacy”.  As it turns out, however, he isn’t interested in privacy for everyone.

I learned about Jones earlier this week on a friends’ FB page. My friend had posted a link to a piece at Mother Jones in which a new regressive, anti-queer bill was put forth.  Co-sponsored by Rep. Jones , the bill (text here) would criminalize ‘unauthorized’ users of bathrooms. Like HB2, there is no indication exactly how this bill (if it were signed into law) could be enforced. Nonetheless, Jones took to FB to show his appreciation for some of his fellow North Carolinian shitstains who supported him, and to explain more about the anti-trans bill he proposed (comments in red are mine).

I want to take a moment to thank everyone for sharing their concerns and keeping me in their thoughts and prayers during today’s vote on HB2. I can say, unequivocally, that I am absolutely against allowing men and women to share restrooms or changing facilities.

 {me: and why is that? Is there something about men that you do not trust? Do you think all men are rapists waiting to happen and if they are with a woman in a restroom or changing facility a bolt of lighting and a sonic boom and BAM! A rape falls from the sky? I may need to ring up some MRAs to come have a look at a real life misandrist, rather than the feminist misandrist they all think is the real thing.  Here’s the dinner bell guys. Come and get it. Real live misandrist!}

 I am a father of two young daughters, and I would not support a bill that I felt in any way would put them in danger.

{me: feelings are great and essential to humans thriving, but when it comes to crafting legislation that affects anyone other than yourself, you ought to have more to go on that that} 

Charlotte began this unnecessary conflict by doing the bidding of radical special interests groups, even though they never had the constitutional authority to pass such an ordinance to begin with.

 {me: Don’t you love it when bigots rationalize their beliefs as correct and true and dismiss others as false out of hand?  Jones hasn’t bothered to learn what trans people are advocating for. He isn’t’ informed on issues relating to the the trans community. But he still knows enough to know they are “radical special interests groups’}

The bill we voted on today and that I supported, HB142, is not a repeal of HB2 so much as it resets the bathroom policies as they were before Charlotte interfered. The bill clearly states that radical city councils like Charlotte and other government entities CANNOT regulate access of multiple occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities. Only the NC General Assembly may enact bathroom ordinances. What this essentially means is that the restroom provision of HB2 remains and our children will not be forced to share bathrooms with those of the opposite sex. So long as I represent the people of the 46th district, I will not waiver on this vital issue of privacy.

{me:  whose privacy are you referring to here?}

In addition to this, I have joined with Senator Britt in drafting a bill that strengthens existing law and offers even more protections for everyone in restrooms and changing facilities. My bill will do two things: First, it will specifically state it is a second degree trespass for entering the restroom or changing room of the opposite sex; secondly, it would enhance the punishment from what is now, a class 3 misdemeanor punishable up to only 10 days, to a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable up to 120 days in jail.

{me: Congratufuckinglations. You’ve found a solution to a nonexistent problem. You’re going to penalize those people who engage in sexually predatory behavior in women’s restrooms.  Problem with that is not only do this not happen, the equation of trans people with sexual predators is seeping (seeped?) into the cultural consciousness and given how trans folks are already treated, that’s  going to make things worse. Like, seriously fucknuckle, if you’d done *nothing*, the harm and stigma that is coming/already here would not occur. But nooooo, you religious bigots gotta have everyone follow your belief system and everyone’s gotta be guided by it. You’d hate if someone said you had to follow rules from Judeism or Islam, but doing it to someone else?  ::spits::}

To summarize, the bill we passed today, HB142, does the following:

· Returns bathroom policies to how they were before Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance.

(me: which doesn’t address which bathroom trans people are allowed to enter without being attacked, although Jones doesn’t realize trans folks have been using the same bathrooms with others of the same gender for long time, so with regard to the use of the bathrooms, he’s returning things to the status quo…such a [modern, USAmerican] conservative thing to do)
· Protects the privacy of the citizens of the state and prevents local governments from regulating bathrooms.

{me: policing the genitals of people entering the bathroom or asking anyone to do so, or authorizing someone to do so is massively invasive and invites is an incredibly horrible idea that could lead to something bad happening. But you’ve not thought about that, bc you haven’t taken any time to look at the implications of you asinine beliefs.

· Implements a moratorium on local ordinances until December 1st, 2020, which will allow federal litigation to be resolved.

{me: I need some help on this. What is the purpose of this moratorium?}

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all of your continued support. It truly means so much to me and my family. I hope this great state can now move forward knowing that what we passed not only keeps us safe but respects our right to privacy.

(me:  There’s such a fucking disconnect here. “…keeps us safe…”?! FROM WHAT ya prejudicial asscastle!! And of course you don’t care about trans people and their lives or their right to privacy, or keeping them safe. Fuck you. Oh, and I would like to cuss out everyone from the bottom of my heart for their continued support for Douchey McDouchebag.}

I hope you will share this information with your friends and anyone else who had concerns about today’s vote.

{me:  Oh, I’m sharing. And I hope you get voted out at the earliest opportunity}

And I hope you will support Sen. Britt and me as we pursue passing stronger language to ensure proper punishment of violators.

{me: you’re so concerned about women and children being assaulted, tell me, what measures have you taken to combat the scourge of rape in your city or state? Do you support abortion rights? Have you supported  Planned Parenthood? Do you support evidence based sex ed? How about maternity leave? Where do you stand on health insurance? Are you one of the fuckwits who opposed the ACA? If you truly want to support and protect women and girls, this is probably the most useless thing you could do for them, while simultaneously a horrible thing you’d do to trans people.}

God bless you all and may God continue to bless the great State of North Carolina.

{me: secular country; keep your god out of politics}

“our children will not be forced to share bathrooms with those of the opposite sex…I will never waiver on this vital issue of privacy.”

{me: children have never been forced to share bathrooms with people of a different sex, and seriously what is with your mad on for men? Do you think if a boy and a girl are in the same room together and they are nude that the boy is what…going to turn into some sort of rape monster? if you’re not scared of that, the what the fuck are you worried about happening, bc I’d bet you’re not worried about the girl doing anything. }

Come on North Carolina, you’ve got to get rid of this guy.

****

As I mentioned in my snarky commentary under the image of Jones, he is a cowardly, asshat. I and several FB  friends went to his public Facebook page (not the one for his private life) where we were critical of his irrational fearmongering above.  Within minutes, he deleted comments by two femme presenting friends (leading me to suspect he might have some sexism he needs to overcome. After I left several more critical comments, he wound up deleting everything I’d said, and blocking me. New people can comment on his FB page, but just know you’ll likely be blocked (and niceness of response doesn’t matter, as one friend was very civil in her comment. Respectful even. He still deleted her  comment).

Like many politicians (I wanted to say conservatives, but this is a problem on all sides of the political spectrum), Jones has not really thought his proposal through.  Or if he has, he’s not concerned with the blatant contradiction. How do you decide who is allowed in a given area if you do not inspect their genitals? But if you inspect their genitals, you’ve invading their privacy, and he says protecting the  privacy of citizens is of utmost import.  Maybe he means only certain civilians matter.

Here is my (now deleted) first comment on his page:

Brenden Jones,
As someone involved in politics, it would behoove you to ensure the legislation you support is actually sound and based on reliable evidence.

To whit:
1-The entire foundation upon which your arguments rests is premised on a complete falsehood. There is *no* evidence that transgender people are a threat to women and girls in the bathroom. There is no reliable evidence of even ONE incident, let alone the sheer number that would be necessary to justify such hateful legislation as you’ve proposed here.
From police officers to sexual assault advocates to school officials, all across the country, the consensus is the same: transgender people using the restroom that corresponds to their gender present no threat to anyone.
If you believe yourself to be a logical person, you ought rethink your position and update your beliefs to reflect the actual reality you live in rather than the alternate one your comments reflect.
https://mediamatters.org/…/comprehensive-guide…/210200

2. You are also wrong about which way potential danger goes. Transgender people face high levels of violence in society. Violence caused by bigoted cisgender people. I am cisgender, as presumably you are. The word means nothing more than a person who identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth. Our similarities pretty much end there though. For one thing:
I lack the bigotry that flows through your blood.
I do not form my beliefs based on lies and falsehoods.
I do not push my false beliefs about the nature of gender upon others.
I do not use the justice system to oppress an already oppressed people.
I recognize that oppressed people should be aided where and when they ask for it against the people who are their oppressors.

I recognize that you and people like you are the direct oppressors of transgender people.

But it’s more than that. I also recognize that there are oppressive systems n place in our country. These systems benefit some and penalize others. You and I benefit. Trans people suffer. I want to do what I can to help ease that reduce that suffering.

For some reason, you have chosen to use your voice to aid in their suffering.

Tell me, it costs you nothing to treat *ALL* humans with respect and decency, does it not? Then why do you not do this? Why do you seek to use the power of the state to impose your will on a group of people who are suffering already, in large part because people in power just like you continue to craft legislation that has a detrimental effect on them?

If you viewed transgender people as human beings–really viewed them as human beings, that would entail listening to them. That would entail empathizing with them. That would entail setting your prejudices to the side and working to ensure that your beliefs comport with reality. It would mean doing the hard work of identifying any biases and prejudices you have–and believe me you have plenty–and ridding yourself of them.

That’s a task that I presume any man of god would want to do no? To be better. To continually strive to be a better man?

I suggest you get started on thapt, because right now, you are a wretched human being.

{advertisement}
The compromise that wasn’t