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A pair of laws have stirred up a tempest recently. On March 23, 2016, the Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, signed into law the so-called “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.” The law, also known as House Bill 2, declares that state law overrides all local ordinances concerning wages, employment and public accommodations.
Thus, the law now bars local municipalities from creating their own rules prohibiting discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Though North Carolina does have a statewide nondiscrimination law, it does not include specific protections for LGBTQ people.
The law also directs all public schools, government agencies and public college campuses to require that multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities, such as locker rooms, be designated for use only by people based on their “biological sex” stated on their birth certificate. Transgender people can use the bathrooms and changing facilities that correspond to their gender identity only if they get the biological sex on their birth certificate changed.
Under the law, public institutions can still offer single-occupancy facilities.
The other recent controversy du jour came to pass after the State of Mississippi passed the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” which, basically, protects people who refuse to provide goods, services or facilities for a gay wedding due to religious or moral objections.
As you can imagine, the response from the self-righteous celebrity community was swift and predictable. “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen immediately cancelled his upcoming Greensboro, NC concert. Bryan Adams, still benefitting from his tours with stops in such places as Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Egypt, where homosexuality is a crime punishable by prison time and worse, vaingloriously announced that he would cancel an upcoming show in Mississippi. Tracy Morgan, vulgar comedian, also cancelled Mississippi dates. The sweet scent of show-business sanctimony hangs densely in the air; can Dave Grohl be far behind?
The celebrity cake-taker in this episode has got to be filmmaker Michael Moore. Moore announced that his latest film, “Where To Invade Next?” would not be shown in any North Carolina venues to protest House Bill 2. Isn’t it ironic that all of these celebrities have taken it upon themselves to not sell their “product,” which is their creative efforts, to people whose religious and/or social beliefs they do not agree with?
There is little doubt that both Mississippi’s law and North Carolina’s law are motivated by a heavy evangelical Christian presence in the populations. Christianity holds that same-sex and transsexual behaviors are sin. It is important to note that transsexuals are NOT banned from bathrooms, they must simply change their gender legally. The Mississippi law simply allows merchants to refuse work that violates their religious beliefs. A non-Christian has no business dictating to a Christian what his or her beliefs must include. To do so, is THE VERY ACT of denial of religious freedom! It is not relevant to say that Christ never addressed homosexuality directly, Christianity is composed of many Biblical elements, some which do address homosexual and trans-gendered behaviors. It would be easy to see the wrong in demanding that churches be forced to allow any group that wants to, to hold events in their sanctuary, but why is it so hard to understand that some people do not want to participate in a ceremony celebrating holy matrimony between two people that they sincerely believe cannot be joined, in the eyes of God?