It would seem that North Carolina is the talk of the ball. Of course, it all centers on HB2.
So, last I left you I was writing that North Carolina passed a law that said restrooms were to be used by people based on their sex. And by sex, NC means the sex listed on their birth certificate. I was wrong – kinda.
North Carolina has said that in schools and state building restroom policy is based on sex, yes. However, the bill now law, also says that individual business owners may craft their OWN restroom policy as they see fit. Cities may not – North Carolina has stated that such powers are not granted to cities.
Also in the bill, now law, are the following:
- Cities may not raise minimum wage
- Employees may not use state law to sue employers for wrongful termination
- There is no ‘protected class’ extensions for folks based on sexual orientation or identity
In order, my take on each.
The United States is built on the concept of state sovereignty – states have the power, not the federal government or the cities within it. It is fully within the state of North Carolina’s authority to grant cities THEIR authority. And having common wage levels across the state can make sense.
The decision not to allow folks to sue using state law is a bit of a head scratcher for me. I fully admit to the possibility that this is bad policy.
The most controversial aspect of the law is the protected class portion. I can absolutely understand the very strong and the very real desire to include such protections for the LGBT community – and, as a practical matter, such protections should be included. However.
There is always a however. As a libertarian, my natural inclination is to say that there should be no law restricting the right of association. That is, people may freely choose to associate, or not, for any reason under the canopy of heaven.
Don’t like me because I have long hair? Don’t hire me.
Don’t like me because I am fiscally conservative? Fine – don’t associate with me.
Don’t like me because I’m a Viking fan? Good – don’t invite me into your Cheese Head bar.
Now, before you bash me for hating, hear this. Discrimination based on race, orientation, identify or religion indicates that you are ignorant. And an ass.
I just don’t think that being a dumb ass should be illegal.
Now, for the record, here are the OTHER states that don’t extend protected class status to the LGBT community:
Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indian, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alaska.
Where is the righteous rage in these jurisdictions?