HB2 could be called ‘Hate Bill 2’

To the Editor:

Recent letters have provided more smoke than light regarding HB2, also known as House Bill 2, which concerns itself with bathroom use, unfunded mandates, setting wages, hours or working conditions, micromanagement from the state, discrimination in employment and housing, and lack of ability to sue in cases of discrimination.

For the record, this was an overwhelmingly Republican-passed bill, signed by the Republican governor.

The introduction states that the General Assembly finds that consistent statewide laws “will improve intrastate commerce” and “attract(s) new business” to North Carolina.  A cursory view of national headlines reveals that the impact of HB2 has been just the opposite — large companies are leaving North Carolina  in droves.

One reason for the exodus is in Part I, the bathroom clause. While common sense and decency would suggest that we not put males and females together in showers, etc, the devil is in the details.

The key is how the Assembly defines ‘biological sex,’ which they order be determined by what is on one’s birth certificate.  Enforcement is all but impossible as the Assembly provided no money to hire people to guard all the public restrooms and check birth certificates. 

Also, not everyone has the same genitalia that they were born with. HB2 mandates that someone with female genitalia but has male on her birth certificate to use the boys shower. Either the Republicans didn’t think this through, or they consciously ignored the reality on the ground to punish, humiliate and endanger people. 

Part II prevents local governments from setting their own (higher) minimum wage.  The worst part is that this states that private profit (business and industry) is more important than “the general welfare of the people.”

Part III allows discrimination against LGBTQ citizens in employment, housing, and other public accommodations. When an amendment was added to protect these and veteran residents, the Republicans voted it down.

It also prevents a civil suit against those who illegally discriminate, but instead mandates using a state agency whose purpose is to “effect an amicable resolution,” not seek justice.

For these reasons, HB2 can also be called Hate Bill 2.

Dan Kowal


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