Inside out: HB2 spells bad news for everyone

Judy Ausley Photo courtesy of 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.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

10 thoughts on “Inside out: HB2 spells bad news for everyone

  1. James

    Oh knock it off Judy. If you really had read the bill as you claim, you would have noticed that the words “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual” and “transgender” don’t appear anywhere in the text. If it’s “discrimination” in your opinion that men’s rooms are for men and women’s rooms are for women, that’s your problem – the rest of us are not going to suffer so that a fraction of a percent can bully their insane agenda on us. Apparently by the angry tone of this letter, you have a problem with North Carolina and the elected officials we the people chose to lead our state. Well then if you’re so angry and apparently have been since Senator Helms was around, maybe you should pack up and move to San Francisco? Being in a constant state of anger and misery isn’t healthy so accept what you can’t change and move on.

    • bsummers

      Apparently by the angry tone of this letter, you have a problem with North Carolina and the elected officials we the people chose to lead our state.

      You sussed that out all from her tone, did you?

      “North Carolina needs a new Democratic government in Raleigh to replace the evil-thinking Republicans.”

      I just love this “we the people” rhetoric. “We the people” only applies to people who agree with you or vote the way you vote?

      We The People is how the US Constitution begins, and it is supposed to invoke a sense of unity. Adopting it as your partisan catchphrase indicates you don’t understand what it means at all.

      Being in a constant state of anger and misery isn’t healthy

      Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot.

      • James

        Bsummers have you booked your ticket yet to Mecca, Saudi Arabia? You would be so effective telling the Saudi government that they absolutely MUST have gender-neutral bathrooms in Mecca, during the haij, so that poor and oppressed transgendered pilgrims will feel safe. Come on bsummers, do it for the transgendered civil rights movement!

    • Hauntedheadnc

      How mysterious that those words don’t appear anywhere in the text of the law, and yet those are the people most negatively affected. Why, it’s almost as though they cloaked the language to establish plausible deniability: “Why, heavens no, that law wasn’t meant to discriminate against anyone! It’s just a happy accident that the very people whose lives we want to make a living hell are precisely the ones whose lives have been made a living hell!”

      Now, considering that I’m an 8th generation native of this area, go ahead and tell me that I need to pack up and move somewhere.

      • Rbethes

        You do need to move. I’m a 10th gen Ash native and I am sick and tired of everyone trying to change Asheville to fit their needs you came here or decided to stay here for a reason don’t try to change it to something it doesn’t need to be. Buskers, drum circle, none of that crap is native to Asheville. Take your transgender and homosexual friends with you.

        • Hauntedheadnc

          Weird how I’m trying to change it into something, when it only recently became an outpost — thanks to the state government — of Mississippi. That being said, when you brag about being tenth generation, that sounds suspiciously like “my dad can beat up your dad,” and it forces me to invoke the Cherokee half of my heritage, so… boom. Mic dropped.

          Meanwhile, you hate drummers, you hate buskers, and I suspect that you can regularly feel your head throb with rage at the fact that not only do women go out in public — where everyone can see!! — without gloves and hats, but they go out wearing… slacks. Trousers. Pants. It’s like nobody has any morals at all!

          In short, you sound like a cranky old person and part of the dying old order. Meanwhile, though I’m older than I’d prefer to be, I accept that I am as I am, as I was made, and that I was made perfectly here in the new world. I don’t care what you think. I’m not going anywhere.

          Don’t like it? Look at all the craps I give about that –>

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.