Letter writer: HB 2 takes rights away from everyone

Graphic by Lori Deaton

House Bill 2 is the law that Republicans and our governor shoved through the legislature and signed into law in only 12 hours. Of course the central focus around this story has been that it is discriminatory against the LGBT community. However, there is another aspect to the law that I have not been hearing anything about in the news: This bill is discriminatory to everybody.

In North Carolina, our only legal protection against employer discrimination is a 1977 legislative declaration that HB 2 essentially nullifies. In short, this means that, when the law goes into effect, we will no longer have protections based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap.

While it is absolutely cruel and evil that this law is targeted primarily at the transgender community, what virtually nobody seems to know is that it impacts all of us, by stripping away our rights. It is hard to get people to care about minorities being oppressed, but I imagine there would be even greater outcry against the law if folks knew it actually affects everybody in a very dangerous way.

— Joshua Kaleb Avila
Black Mountain


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41 thoughts on “Letter writer: HB 2 takes rights away from everyone

  1. James

    Well I’m glad that HB2 denies perverts the right to troll around in opposite sex bathrooms and gym showers/changing rooms. What kind of a sicko society have we become when we actually think it’s o.k. for the genders to be erased. Those who oppose HB2 are cultural terrorists.

    • mynameis

      “Cultural terrorists”.

      New low, James. You’re definitely in stiff (don’t think your overt focus on bathroom antics hasn’t gone unnoticed!) competition with Fisher Caudle now. Just a little more effort and you can take the prize!

      • James

        Yes, “cultural terrorists” is what I accuse HB2 opponents of and no, I do not apologize. It is NOT normal for men to feel like they have a right to use opposite sex bathrooms and showers/changing areas and vice verse for women who think they have a right to use the men’s facilities. Nobody other than the most depraved and delusional wants such a society. Parents do not want their daughters to run the risk of encountering a sick pedophile in public bathroom when their child has to go there. What we have with this whole mess is a very small minority of sick, sick perverts who are hell-bent on changing society to meet their intolerant demands. And that is the definition of cultural terrorism.

        • Mary

          My late brother was accosted by a MALE in the MEN’S ROOM while family members waited outside for him. He was so terrorized by the abuse and threats made to him by the MALE abuser in the MEN’S ROOM that it made his life hell on earth. He became an alcoholic, then when AA helped him stop that, he smoked himself to emphysema and death. He never said a word about the attack on him until his last illness before he died at age 60.
          So I’m definitely in favor of having all members of the community use whichever bathroom they choose and for having everyone, whatever their biological makeup, watching out for the kids. If anyone will do that, I’ll bet on the people who are LGBT…they appreciate the fear a child will have when accosted and I’m sure they will not allow it to happen to any kid in the rest room they use. Private stalls will solve any issues, and if there’s one toilet and a line waiting outside, that’s nothing new. Women have dealt with that for at least a century in this country. Haters can just hold it til they find a place to go that doesn’t offend them. Tough luck.

        • The Real World

          Yes, mynameis (= Barry) — do you have anything of value to add regarding the actual topic?

          To Letter Writer, Joshua — it’s pretty scary that you could write that letter in good conscience. Because you have cherry-picked only aspects you care about and ignored many others relevant to the issue. That is all wrong.

          If you’re interested in doing a little research and presenting a more balanced picture (as in, WHY HB2 happened the way it did and acknowledging ALL OF WHOM would be affected by an ordinance like the one Charlotte passed that triggered all this) I’d be happy to read and consider.

          • bsummers

            I’ve already denied being the anonymous poster ‘mynameis’. At some point, “The Real World”, if you continue to claim that I am running a sockpuppet when in fact I am not, it becomes libelous. Just FYI.

          • mynameis

            The Real World (if that’s your real name), are you still seeing conspiracy everywhere? Barry and I have both denied it, yet you still persist. What’s your agenda?

          • bsummers

            Hold on, ‘mynameis’. Let me start drinking a glass of water before you start talking. Stupid people (as a whole) are fooled by that sort of thing.

        • mynameis

          I said nothing negative about the commenter, but about his comment. You don’t like that?

          • mynameis

            Calling people “perverts”, “sickos”, “depraved and delusional” and “cultural terrorists”, that’s ok and in no way a personal attack. Calling someone out for using those terms, that’s an infraction.

            Interesting. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind going forward, Able Allen.

        • mynameis

          Yet James calling others (by association) “depraved and delusional” and “sick, sick perverts” isn’t worthy of reprimand?

          Maybe you should check those priorities, Able Allen.

          • Able Allen

            James is criticizing society as a whole. He is not calling individuals names. He is speaking in broad generalizations and hyperbole. And while that doesn’t seem to have much constructive value to the conversation, it isn’t hate speech, it isn’t libelous and it’s in bounds. I have not allowed certain posts on this this thread that have crossed the line.

          • mynameis

            It’s not hate speech?! Tarring the transgender community as “depraved and delusional”, “perverts”, “sickos”, and “terrorists”?

            Really, who do you think will be convinced by your argument? Besides James?

          • Able Allen

            It’s not an argument. It’s where the line is drawn. Mountain Xpress certainly doesn’t condone any commenter’s opinion and we do our best to moderate fairly. If he directly spoke as you are characterizing it, that would be another matter, but I hope you can see that what he said isn’t so black and white. In any case, please direct further complaints about moderation to webmaster@mountainx.com and feel free to write letters to the editor of your own. We are off topic for this thread.

  2. DreadT

    James, do you realize that certain people are born with both male and female sexual organs…yes or no? This has nothing to do with society, and to label someone with this type of physical feature as a sicko pervert is exactly the reason we need laws protecting them from people with ignorant and hateful ideas, similar to yours.

    More importantly, the haphazard way the bill was drafted in a emergency session is not the proper way a bill should get introduced and voted on. This legislation is wasting MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars on something that will likely prove to violate civil rights and get overturned, just as Amendment 1 did. I am disgusted with our elected officials wasting money on drafting laws based on fear, hate and discrimination. This wasted money could be spent on something much more productive, such as textbooks and educators. In addition, whatever Charlotte City Council approves for their constituents is not something that should be decided upon by other cities, especially in Raleigh. The State is overreaching in its power by including restrictions on local governments ability to make laws that specifically pertain to them. What’s best for the citizens in Asheville, Charlotte, Wilmington, etc. isn’t necessarily relevant in other towns and cities in this state. So why did the legislators add so many other items to HB 2 that aren’t even relevant to LGBT people using a bathroom? If this was truly about safety, as you say it is, wouldn’t it be a better idea to draft a law that imposes stricter penalties with longer sentences for crimes committed in public restrooms and locker rooms? How is the current law even supposed to be enforced?

    Lastly, I used to be proud to call myself a North Carolinian. I would often correct people who would confuse our state with South Carolina. Lately, I am so embarrassed by the actions of our governing body, I would gladly accept that misnomer.

    • James

      You neglected to mention the fact that under the Charlotte ordinance, ANYONE could use the opposite sex’s public bathroom/shower/changing room by simply saying “I think I’m a woman (or man).” So big, burly, redneck man could go inside a crowded ladies room at the mall and hang out there – perfectly legal – despite the fact that all the women and girls are rightfully uncomfortable with him being there. Everyone other than those with bad intentions should fully support HB2.

      • DreadT

        James, you didn’t answer my question. Your imagination has led you astray. I support laws that penalize people for committing crimes. This bill does not do that, it prevents certain groups from having the same options as the majority. Ironic how you support a bill that actually forces a “big, burly, redneck man” who previously had a sex change to legally go inside a crowded ladies room at the mall and hang out there. Perfectly legal, now. They way you have described the LGBT community and the types of people who would commit crimes is a little disturbing. Criminals come in all shapes, colors and sizes. You really need to accept the fact that the world is a diverse place, with a multitude of ideas and preferences. And yours aren’t any better than anyone else’s.

        • James

          And you need to accept the fact that this is a diverse country where the vast majority of people do not agree with this gender erasing nonsense. It is naive to believe that the only people who will take advantage of what Charlotte tried are hermaphrodites. That ordinance was a green light to people with dark, perverted ideas. Wake up.

          • DreadT

            Still haven’t answered my question, I apologize that yes or no questions are so difficult for you. Show me one example in another city where they have the same type of ordinance as Charlotte that resulted in the type situations you describe. Go for it, there are over 200 cities that have done so.

            Your assertion that a majority rule should squash the rights of the minority makes me believe you must empathize with groups like the Nazis. Well done James, your true colors are showing.

          • James

            No dread I didn’t answer your question and I’m not going to get baited into an endless discussion with you where you’ll never be interested in what I present. Do you really think I’m going to take the time out to comb through every arrest record in the country to see who has or hasn’t been arrested as a result of a municipality’s idiotic gender erasing rules? Why don’t YOU show me some proof that such a scenario as I’ve painted never happened? Go ahead, you say there are over 200 cities that have such an ordinance. On your mark, get set, go. Get to work studying those town’s arrest records and make sure you investigate and report back everything (i.e. John Doe was arrested in Whatever town in the women’s bathroom where he harrassed Jane Doe). Even if something didn’t happen, why in the hell would any sane person want to take a chance – especially when his mother, wife, daughter ( or her father, husband or son to be all gender neutral ) could be a potential target? Oh and grow up with the nazi accusation – that’s a tired old trick designed to shut the opposite side down by intimidation. Not going to happen – the American people do not want a gender-less society and we’re not going to be bullied into silence.

          • Emily

            James – the fact is that there have been groups who have tried to find evidence to support this very argument. They have come up empty handed. Law by nature reacts to the thing that happens. It is rarely proactive…. The law is unconstitutional on its face. OUR NCGA continues to pass laws that continue to be overturned by the Federal Courts. At what point do we, as tax paying North Carolinians, say enough is enough. Smaller government is better. Get out of my bathroom!

          • James

            Emily, as a woman do you really and truly want men in the bathroom when you are or showering next to you at the gym? Oh and I have no doubt that some supremacist judge will rule HB2 unconstitutional and when that happens, I also know the the vast majority of NC women will say NO WAY and will throw out any man – including transgendered ones – who choose to invade their bathrooms and showers.

          • Yohto


            You do know that it is still illegal to stalk, harass, intimidate, molest or rape somebody, right? It’s not like a pervert would be legally free and clear to just go around restrooms and showers to jack off in the corner…

            We could really have a more productive conversation if people like you would drop the pretense of this erroneous ‘public safety’ nonsense, and just admit that you are too insecure in your own identity to feel comfortable around people who are different from you and your narrow expectations of normality. I’m not even saying that that is bad: it’s ok to be freaked out by things that are new and different. We all experience that feeling. And then we hopefully grow, mature, and get over it.

            I–like millions of people the world over–have peed, showered, and just been casually naked with many strangers, and you know what? Brace yourself for this…

            It doesn’t matter. Really. Nobody cares, James. It’s like riding the bus or using the toilet with anyone else: You can try to engage with people if you want, but most of us ignore everybody else and just go about our business.

            And if ever it happens that somebody is being a creeper in the bathroom–male, female, or anything in between–you can just do what anybody would do anyway, and report them for inappropriate behavior. Ta da!

            Nobody is taking away your freedoms, nobody is trying to change your gender identity, and (as is evidenced by the many places around the world with gender neutral bathrooms) nobody is magically granted the right to be a pervert in the restroom. Get over it, hombre. Can’t you see that you are the ones making restrooms awkward for everybody else? Can we ban YOU from public toilets?

            BTW, what is really hilarious to me is that HB2 will have the unintended consequence of forcing *normal* people to pee with trans individuals of different gender expressions. So this law actually increases the chance your wife or daughter will share the restroom with a big, burly redneck, albeit one with a vagina.

            I, for one, hope to meet you in the restroom one day, because despite my penis, I’ll be there in a fabulous dress.

  3. Ignorant Mountain Dweller

    I’m just an ignorant mountain dweller, but I am not sure what Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual have to do with Transgender? It seems to me that one’s sexual preference and gender are not related in any way in so much as both genders can sleep with whoever they want under current law. The federal government has afforded protections to all variations of sexual preference as long as they include two consenting adults. Transgender, however has nothing at all to do with sex as I understand it. Again, I’m just a dumb rube in the mountains, but I would like to know how people thinking they were born in the wrong body has anything to do with who you want to have sex with. Can anyone explain it?

    • Yohto

      Great question! I don’t think not knowing something that doesn’t apply to you makes you a dumb rube! It shows great character that you’re asking.

      Yeah, you’re absolutely right: Gender and sexuality have nothing to do with eachother. They are entirely different categories of human identity.

      However, what they do have in common is that both Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual folks and Transgender folks have all faced very similar repression and harassment historically. And because LGB people are generally less hung up on gender than their Straight counterparts, they tend to be more accepting of Trans folks. So despite not sharing exactly the same concern, they tend to be lumped together because there is a natural solidarity between people being harassed and attacked by right-wing extremists.

      There is some contention about this lumping together within the community though, because as times have changed and LGB folks have made great strides within American culture, the Trans community has been kind of left behind in some respects.

      It’s maybe worth mentioning that LGBT is now often expanded to LGBTQIAP (Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and Pansexual), but that probably requires more explanation than a comment response can get to.

  4. Yep

    81% of locals SUPPORT HB2 according to the latest WWNC /570 and 880 revolution combined polls! 81% that’s higher than
    Voter ID ! ! !

  5. boatrocker

    Step 1- create a problem out of thin air with no factually based numbers behind it to back on one’s assertion

    Step 2- create draconian laws to subjugate others, deny them Constitutional rights (which supercede imaginary religious rights)

    Step 3- Freedom!

    Voter fraud, this current mess and anti- Sharia laws are fine examples for future legal scholars to study, assuming we still have a Constitution at that point.

    I wonder if the HB2 laws would have stopped Larry Craig (R), ex Idaho senator from preying upon males in restrooms, he being a male and preying upon other males too. He did plead guilty, by the way for soliciting sexual acts in a (male) public restroom, which young males also visited from time to time.

  6. Joshua Kaleb Avila

    Unfortunately, it appears that many commenters completely missed the point of my letter, which was this: Regardless of your stance on sharing public restrooms with trans folks, HB2 contains several regressive and dangerous provisions that jeopardize all of the state’s citizens, despite having nothing to do with the supposed public safety issue.

    That said, the idea that this new law will somehow protect ‘normal’ folks from is a foolish argument that collapses under even the most marginal scrutiny. Here are just a handful of reasons why the public safety argument for HB2 only demonstrates supporters lack of critical thinking skills…

    *You have almost certainly already unknowingly shared a restroom with a trans person, and nothing bad happened.
    *Under this law, you will now absolutely know whey you share a restroom with a trans person, as they will be there in attire that doesn’t conform with traditional gender norms, which is going to make the issue more obvious and awkward.
    *Supporters of the law seem to think that, for some inexplicable reason, a sexual predator would go through the trouble of dressing up in a way that would draw undue attention of themselves, in order to more easily harass or molest somebody…?
    *Regardless of gender identity, it is still illegal to harass or molest anybody, in a restroom or anywhere else. A local ordinance won’t change that.
    *Public restrooms are like any other public venue–open to the public. It is profoundly un-American to restrict others’ freedom to access a space based on your own personal discomfort, when you can just as easily choose not to use a public resource. If it were ok to restrict people based on discomfort, I personally would start with juggalos and evangelicals long before I worried about trans people.

    Of course I’m not going to change any minds here, I’m just doing what we all do on the internet–battling futility by yelling into the void. But I at least take it as a good sign that both sides of the issue are vigorously defending their views, because that means the traditional power dynamics between the former majority and the emboldened minorities are shifting. And that gives me hope.

  7. The Real World

    Rather than supply all those quotes, which aren’t particularly useful, why didn’t you define what you mean by this?
    “HB2 contains several regressive and dangerous provisions that jeopardize all of the state’s citizens.

    Additionally, how can anyone not grasp that this is not accurate? “despite having nothing to do with the supposed public safety issue.

    Joshua – you need to inform yourself further on this issueand consider ALL of the population that would have been affected by the law Charlotte wanted to pass. Taking into account the majority of people affected is plain common sense. But yes, sigh, I realize I ask too much of the knee-jerk reactionary, group think crowd.

    • Peter Robbins

      One regressive provision, which the letter expressly identifies, is the General Assembly’s unexplained decision to eliminate the private cause of action in state court for victims of discrimination by businesses. That action jeopardizes the rights of everyone and has nothing to do with public safety.

      • The Real World

        Ok, thanks. But wait, is that provision related to employer/employee relationships or business/customer relationships? Because those are pretty different. Joshua speaks of employer discrimination but your comment of “victims of discrimination by businesses” made me think of the bakery in Ohio (I think, it was) that didn’t want to create a particular type of product for a clientele they weren’t comfortable with.

        Not sure but rather doubt that a single provision would cover both of those areas. Do you happen to know which it applies to?

  8. vkkv

    HB2 is not constitutional. It is an illegal law. N.C. will waste a lot of taxpayer money defending it while losing money from private enterprizes who boycott the state.

    Where are the “conservatives” who demand that the Constitution and Bill Of Rights be the rule of law?

    Where are the “conservatives” who demand that taxes be spent wisely?

    The truth is that conservatives have been MOSTLY WRONG coming around EVERY corner of history.

    I’ll name one really easy one. Gay Marriage – it was supposed to “ruin traditional marriage”, okay another, minorities voting, okay more, women voting, civil rights, okay another: Republicans fought against Dems in wanting to help and fight with the Brits & France in WWII until Pearl Harbor was struck. okay, three more, the Roman, Spanish and French Inquisitions, more? The Civil War ( I bet you didn’t know that the Republicans were the Big Gov Liberals and the Dems were the conservative state’s rights party in the 1800’s until the Whig Party collapsed around 1900) More? Gays in the military were going “to destroy the military.” So far, no news of that.. Renewable energy investment, the environment, the liberal Save The S.F. Bay effort in the 70’s was a huge success.. The Earth is round and not the center of the Universe by the way.. oh and it’s not flat. Bombing and invading Iraq even after Saddam said he would walk out before the bombs fell.. Time will show again and again how conservatives just can’t get over their ideology to make the correct social, environmental and economic long-term decisions.

  9. C

    With virtually NO incidences of ‘perversion’ by LGBTs, the facts are in front of you now. This HB 2 strips away more than someone who is more comfortable in the opposite gender’s skin, but rights from all of us. If per chance (and I do NOT agree) were strictly for bathroom access, it would be one thing, but it IS NOT. Try to look at the facts, and not what crosses the potential ‘danger’ of what you may think, could, one day, one time occur. Rather, put your efforts and your voice and time into actually protecting your children from REAL sexual predators. And I quote “”…looking for examples of proven criminal behavior. We were likewise unable to find any examples in the United States, though we did find a case in Canada”. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article70255967.html

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