North Carolina Transgender Deal Lets Judges Decide Whether Men Are Women

DURHAM, NC - MAY 11: A gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathrooms at Oval Park Grill on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** House Bill 2
Sara D. Davis/Getty

The Charlotte, North Carolina City Council will repeal its gender-eliminating “bathroom ordinance” if the state legislature agrees to eliminate its gender-affirming HB2 law by December 31.

The deal means that the question of who gets to decide the sex of men or women (and boys or girls) who are seeking to use opposite-sex facilities in K-12 schools and public facilities is being passed by divided politicians over to judges. So far, in several cases, judges have decided that a person’s choice of “gender identity” allows that person to use shower rooms and bathrooms reserved for members of the opposite sex, even in K-12 schools.

“Now that the Charlotte ordinance has finally been repealed, the expectation of privacy in our showers, bathrooms and locker rooms is restored and protected under previous state law,”Outgoing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said in a video statement. “But it should also be noted that the whole issue of gender identity is a national issue that will be resolved by the courts and the United States Justice Department,” he said.

The post-election deal “sadly proves this entire [transgender] issue originated by the political left was all about politics and winning the governor’s race at the expense of Charlotte and our entire state,” he said. McCrory has announced a special session of the state’s General Assembly to discuss the repeal of HB2, reports WBTV.

The city of Charlotte’s willingness to strike a deal comes immediately after McCrory’s very narrow loss of less than 10,000 votes to Democrat attorney general Roy Cooper, largely due to what many constitutional leaders are calling outside “radical forces” as well as “corporate extortion” and “bullying.”

The governor signed the HB2 privacy and public safety bill into law to nullify a new ordinance in Charlotte that allowed anyone who simply declared they had changed their sex to use the other sex’s restrooms. The ordinance was pushed forward by registered sex offender Chad Sevearance-Turner and national gay-advocacy groups during the tenure of Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

In contrast, the compromise HB2 law required required people to use the bathroom that matched the official documentation of their sex. The documents could be their original birth certificate, or a modified birth-certificate after surgical changes.

Following the passage of HB2, progressive groups pushed major sports organizations, businesses, and celebrities to boycott the state. The resulting boycotts helped the state’s establishment media to portray the privacy-protecting law as an economic hazard. In general, gay groups opposed the HB2 law because they seek to blur the social and legal recognition of the two male and female sexes.

Once Cooper’s electoral win was official this month, gay rights organizations argued that his victory was not about economics but because of supposed public endorsement of their gender-blending ideology. Their claim is boosted by President Barack Obama’s promotion of gender ideology, and his administration’s warning that the state law violates the civil rights of gay and transgender individuals. LGBT rights groups have adopted the narrative that their campaign is the equivalent of the black civil rights movement that was launched during the mid-20th century, though many black leaders take offense at that portrayal.

Reacting to Charlotte’s deal with GOP lawmakers, Cooper said, “Full repeal [of HB2] will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state.”


In a special video message, McCrory especially noted the timing of the deal to exchange the repeal of Charlotte’s ordinance for that of HB2.

“This sudden reversal with little notice after the gubernatorial election sadly proves this entire issue originated by the political left was all about politics and winning the governor’s race at the expense of Charlotte and our entire state,” he said. “I have always publicly advocated a repeal of the overreaching Charlotte ordinance. But those efforts were blocked by Jennifer Roberts, Roy Cooper and other Democratic activists.”

State GOP leaders added to McCrory’s statement regarding the politics behind HB2.

“Today Roy Cooper and Jennifer Roberts proved what we said was the case all along: their efforts to force men into women’s bathrooms and shower facilities was a political stunt to drive out-of-state money into the governor’s race,” Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said.

Roberts’ deadline of December 31 to repeal HB2 appears to be a point of contention, reports WBTV, since Republican lawmakers said the original deal included no conditions.

According to the news report:

But Mayor Jennifer Roberts said the December 31, 2016 deadline included in the language passed by the council Monday morning should not be a reason for legislative Republicans to pull their support.

“We did not have to do this,” she said. “So, if they think that this is a halfway measure, they are not listening carefully to their own constituents.”

In answer reporters’ questions after the vote Monday morning, Roberts said it was clear a majority of people wanted HB2 to be repealed.

At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern also questions the sudden reversal of Roberts and the Charlotte City Council:

The Charlotte City Council’s decision to overturn its own nondiscrimination ordinance marks a stark and sudden reversal: Previously, both Mayor Jennifer Roberts and the city council had declared that LGBTQ rights are non-negotiable and refused to compromise with the Republican-dominated legislature. But apparently, Roberts has now decided that LGBTQ rights are, in fact, negotiable, and she used her city’s ordinance as a bargaining chip for HB2’s repeal.

Even outgoing President Obama, however, admitted in an NPR farewell interview published Monday that a contributing factor of Democrats’ big losses this election season was that their major priorities – including social justice issues such as the minimum wage – were overpowered by media attention to such issues as transgender bathrooms.

Obama said:

I don’t think there’s something wrong with the core argument that the Democratic Party has made for years. And the reason we know that is because on the individual issues that Democrats talk about there’s strong support. For example, the minimum wage. In every survey across the country, people support a higher minimum wage. There are clearly, though, failures on our part to give people in rural areas or in exurban areas, a sense day-to-day that we’re fighting for them or connected to them.

Some of it is the prism through which they’re seeing the political debate take place. They may know less about the work that my administration did on trying to promote collective bargaining or overtime rules. But they know a lot about the controversy around transgender bathrooms because it’s more controversial, it attracts more attention.

In an op-ed at The Hill, American Principles Project president Frank Cannon writes that McCrory’s gubernatorial race was turned into “the most consequential of the 2016 cycle” as a result of the far left’s “obvious attempt to bully the GOP into submission on the ‘gender identity’ issue.”

Cannon advises conservatives and constitutionalists to stop spending millions of dollars to change traditional leftwing institutions such as “academia, the mainstream media, pop culture, the entertainment industry – institutions over which the left has a complete stranglehold.”

Instead, he asserts winning elections and supporting candidates who can enact policies that reflect the Constitution is what’s worthwhile.

“Politics is the only part of the culture that can easily be driven by ordinary people,” he says. “So why aren’t conservative organizations and donors spending more on politics? Why didn’t they protect McCrory, go on offense fighting the culture war, and save themselves tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars in future spending on efforts to play defense?”

“The underlying message of not letting men shower with our daughters is a winning one, but only if it is actively promoted,” Cannon adds. “That doesn’t happen unless conservative donors pony up.”

Following the certification of the gubernatorial race results, Republican state lawmakers stripped incoming Cooper of some authority. McCrory signed into law a bill that merges the State Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission into one board made up of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, reports the Associated Press. Without the new provision, Cooper could have placed more Democrats than Republicans on the board. The new law also makes elections for appellate court judgeships officially partisan, and forces Cooper’s cabinet nominees to be subject to Senate confirmation.


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