BY JUDY AUSLEY
The blatant discrimination in the HB2 bill signed recently by Gov. Pat McCrory is the most dangerous threat to face the LGBT community in this state in years. I was shocked when I read the entire bill. This sounds like 1958, when I was a young woman in Florida. Actually, this bill is in a way directed at every single person who lives in North Carolina. Discrimination of any kind applies to every one of us who lives here. Discrimination is discrimination, and it is very threatening to everyone in this state.
My question for McCrory is: How can you and your gang tell who is gay or transgender by looking? That applies to the “bathroom” issue as well. I guess the next thing the Republicans will come up with will be that all gays in North Carolina will have to carry an ID reading, “I am gay.” I’ve got news for all of you: It would be wise not to decide someone’s sexual preference just by the way someone looks. That was the “old way” —in Florida and other states in the 1960s — against gays. It did not work then, and it surely is not going to work now.
I believe that some universities’ and colleges’ plans for gender-neutral bathrooms for male or female students is the best way to handle that issue for the time being.
Republicans in North Carolina vowed to abolish the same-sex marriage decision by the Supreme Court last year. In small towns and communities all around North Carolina, where people speak their thoughts and usually tell the truth, many folks involved in the aftermath of the court decision swore that there just had to be a way to defeat the decision or “wipe it out now one way or the other.”
I never could have imagined we would have to face this again in my lifetime. I have been in this state for 47 years. We fought Jesse Helms when I lived in Durham for over 25 years. North Carolina is not the wonderful place to live and thrive any longer. HB2 is a bill that may not go away.
Most of the Republicans in Raleigh are up for re-election this year, including the governor. I can tell you that each one of us in the gay community and people aligned with us will never pull the Republican lever when voting in November!
North Carolina needs a new Democratic government in Raleigh to replace the evil-thinking Republicans. Send all of them back to Charlotte and other towns in which they live, so they can close the blinds to keep out the sight of LGBT people who may walk by.
I expect all of the potential businesses, conventions, meetings, sports events and tourists will keep their word about not coming to Asheville again until HB2 is abolished or rewritten. I appreciate all of you and your support of the LGBT community.
When the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is “running scared,” as CEO Kit Cramer seemed to express in the Asheville Citizen-Times April 8, everyone knows what that means: money! In fact, cancellations are already happening in the city. All of this is bad for Asheville and Buncombe County. Buncombe County is already unhappy because of losing Deschutes Brewery to another out-of-state city.
The Republicans are truly out of step. Gov. McCrory recently admitted to a reporter that he has done nothing wrong, which reminds me of the unaware and unprepared Donald Trump — just another Republican who wants to be president.
God forbid, I say.
WNC resident Judy Ausley has been a journalist in North Carolina for 47 years.