On Thursday the University of Vermont announced the cancellation of its women’s basketball road game against the University of North Carolina on Dec. 28 to protest the Tar Heel State’s bathroom privacy law.
The HB2 law, enacted in March in North Carolina, stipulates that people may only use multiple-occupancy bathrooms in government-run buildings that correspond to the gender identity of which they were assigned at birth. Proponents of the law call it “common sense” legislation, while opponents consider it discriminatory against transgender people by preventing them from using government-run bathrooms based on their gender identity. Private institutions may designate bathrooms according to their own preferences.
In a statement released by the Vermont Athletic Department, the decision to cancel the game was based on a consultation with the team’s coaches, the women’s basketball team, and key university officials. The Burlington, Vermont, school features bathrooms marked “gender neutral” on its campus to accommodate transgenders.
The school’s statement in part reads:
We strive very hard to create an inclusive climate for our students and staff in which they all can feel safe, respected, and valued. It would be hard to fulfill these obligations while competing in a state with this law, which is contrary to our values as an athletic department and university…. We fully understand and sympathize with the impact that this decision may have on the North Carolina women’s basketball schedule. However, we believe this decision is consistent with our values and the conversations with our coaches and student team members. These were the most important considerations.”
The Governor of North Carolina Patrick McGrory defended the law, reported USA Today, saying “most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present.” He added that 21 other states join North Carolina in challenging the “overreach” by the Obama administration in forcing transgender friendly bathroom laws against the will of the people.
“Left-wing special interest groups have no moral authority to try and intimidate the large majority of American parents who agree in common-sense bathroom and shower privacy for our children. American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, thus bypassing the democratic and legal process,” McGrory asserted.
In July, NBA Commissioner Nate Silver decided to relocate the leagues 2017 All-Star weekend because of HB2, which could cost North Carolina as much as $100 million.