Tagrights

North Carolina moves to embrace money-exempt status

North Carolina decided to rush through a bill removing rights from LGBT citizens. It also decided to make sure no cities could adopt anti-discrimination rules and limited the minimum wage, just for good measure.

Say What?

From Ars Technica:

The law in question is known as HB2. In addition to the restroom policy, the measure also blocks lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from enjoying anti-discrimination protections, and it forbids local North Carolina governments from adopting anti-discrimination and living wage rules to counter the state law.

I feel sorry for the citizens of the state who don’t support this measure and who are losing money and jobs because of it.

Official Government Travel Bans

Mayors of Washington DC, Atlanta, Seattle, and Boston have all banned official travel to the state.

New York and Connecticut have banned official travel there as well.

And that’s not all.

Lost Money and Jobs

Charlotte has also lost 400 skilled jobs when PayPal cancelled expansion plans in light of the new law.

“The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal‚Äôs mission and culture. As a result, PayPal will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte,” Dan Schulman, the PayPal president and CEO.

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals is pulling their 52 new jobs and #20 million investment int he state.

Fox, Miramax and The Weinstein Company are looking to move or cancel productions in North Carolina. Turner Broadcasting is also threatening to move filming out of the state.

Taking Sides

The Charlotte Observer has a running list of who is For and Against the HB2 law.

There are apparently many more who support the bill but:

Due to vocal threats and bullying from the LGBT community, some business owners feared for the well-being of their business and families. For this reason, some preferred to remain anonymous by name, however, here is a list of timestamped signees with industry indication for those who have signed on, thus far, showing the incredibly large outpouring of support for the passage of HB2 on the North Carolina business community.

From [Facebook page of the North Carolina Values Coalition](North Carolina Values Coalition).

I’m sorry they feel bullied from the same group of people they’re looking to discriminate against. Maybe if they were nicer, they wouldn’t feel so bullied. If you take my rights away, I would be inclined to bully you too.

Jesus reminds followers to love one another no matter what.

Bathroom Safety

But now that North Carolina has made restrooms safe for women from transgendered people. Or did they?

[Statistics Show Exactly How Many Times Trans People Have Attacked You in Bathrooms)(http://mic.com/articles/114066/statistics-show-exactly-how-many-times-trans-people-have-attacked-you-in-bathrooms#.mUe6L2Wo2)

Big fat zero: Spokespeople from the Transgender Law Center, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union told Mic that no statistical evidence of violence exists to warrant this legislation. Vincent Villano, the director of communications for the National Center for Transgender Equality, told Mic in an email that there isn’t any firm data to corroborate these lawmakers’ claims, and that NCTE has “not heard of a single instance of a transgender person harassing a non-transgender person in a public restroom. Those who claim otherwise have no evidence that this is true and use this notion to prey on the public’s stereotypes and fears about transgender people.”

But transgender people face harassment simply trying to heed the call of nature.

The survey, published in the Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, found that 70 percent of responders have been denied entrance, were harassed or assaulted when attempting to use a public restroom of their identifying gender.

I’m glad North Carolina has kept their religious freedom and their bathrooms safe from trans attackers that don’t exist. I hope states who make these laws continue to suffer the backlash of more progressive companies, governments and people. They’re entitled to their views and beliefs. But they’re also entitled to the results of them.

If you’d like to feel even safer, I have a rock that’s guaranteed to keep tigers away.

How far we haven’t come

Recently, my wife and I visited the Newseum. I revisited the Berlin Wall exhibit. Going through it, I also watched the video about the reporters responding to the 9/11 attacks. Seeing the antenna from the top of the World Trade Center and parts of the debris brought it home.

Our history is not that old. The Civil Rights movement is only 50 years old. And still ongoing. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The September 11th Attacks were in 2001. Our country’s pain is not old.

There was an extensive photo exhibit from John F. Kennedy’s photographer and a great video montage of his brief presidency. He was before my time. But he was not in the distant past.

Our history is real and living. It affects us today. We do not live in a bubble. We are influenced by our past. We get to build our future into what we’d like it to be. It’s a future that will have many amazing events and people. It will be filled with terrible times and people. It will mirror our past.

History doesn’t feel real from the pages of history books or television programs. History feels real when I can reach out and touch the Berlin Wall. I can imagine myself living beneath the watchful, murderous eye of the tower guards. To live apart from family and friends. To not see loved ones for decades. What would that feel like?

The Civil Rights Movement. It’s not a done deal. It’s the start to a long, hard road. A road being walked by those who want to love who they want. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Everyone wants to be loved and to love. Everyone wants to live inside their own house and their own lives.

There are lessons the past has to teach us. But instead, we insist on re-learning the same
painful lessons. We’ve done a pretty terrible job of allowing everyone to share the rights of straight, white men. I don’t remember anyone voting for my right to marry. Rights are not a finite resource.

Women have to fight for equal rights.
African-Americans have to fight for equal rights.
Gays have to fight for equal rights.

Our history is not a collection of old, dead stories from books. Our history is now. Our history is yesterday. And tomorrow is a new chance to write it.

Marriage Overturned

The United States of America held a vote last night and all heterosexual marriages and no longer valid in the country. As of this morning, no marriage is legally recognized.

What does this mean? It means you’ve lost all these rights.

  • No more health benefits for your spouse. They better get on their own insurance at work? Oh, they stay at home? Well, better go out and buy insurance.

  • No more visitation or decision-making rights if they are hospitalized, you’re not really family after all.

  • No more tax benefits. Time to start filing separately.

  • No adoptions. It’s not right for a child to grow up in a home like that.

  • Prepare for more harassment at school and the workplace (if you got a job) because it’s not a hate crime to harass and bully you for being you.

This is your new reality. This is the world you’ve awaken to. This is everyday.

This is not the world heterosexual couples live in. This is not reality for many people. But it is reality for same-sex couples. This is the life they life in and the unjust system they live under.

Just as African-Americans won the right to vote, the right to marry and even to be considered people many years ago, the same battle is taking place across the country and in the world now.

For homosexual couples, they face the same legal and moral battles African-Americans faced and still face in parts of the world (and our country) today.

I look forward to the time when we look back on the ridiculousness of same-sex marriage (and even using that term) that we do on interracial marriage.

It’s not right to deny people the rights and joys of marriage because of an arbitrary reason such as skin color of sexual orientation.

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