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?
I see your point but consider – blacks in the South had been denied equal rights due to bigotry and racism for generations. If it were allowed that people could refuse to serve patrons because of their race, refuse to sell homes in particular neighborhoods, refuse to do business, etc., then blacks would have a much more difficult path to equal opportunity. Their freedom will be denied due to the aggregation of individual acts of stupidity/bigotry. Therefore it seems to me that in some cases societal good trumps individual freedom of association. That doesn’t violate libertarian principles necessarily – if the act of denying groups association leads to a real lack of freedom and opportunity for that group, allowing individuals to associate freely actually reduces overall freedom. How that calculation is made would be a tricky question, of course! On states vs. city rights: I tend to like decentralized power so I would like as much power as possible be devolved from state to city/locality (and from federal government to state government). But again, there are exceptions…there always are.
I see your point but consider – blacks in the South had been denied equal rights due to bigotry and racism for generations.
I agree. Society broke down due to the racism in our past. That condition no longer exists and it’s time to admit that.
Racism certainly exists – one sees it in all aspects of society. It is structural and still holds people down. Blacks talk about having to have ‘the talk’ with their kids about what they can’t do that whites can because of the suspicion and mistreatment that results from the fact they’re black. We are far, far from having a country without racism.