Are You Avoiding Travel to North Carolina Because of the “Bathroom” Law?

C ompanies, professional sports organizations and government agencies — such as the city of Atlanta, for example — are banning official travel to North Carolina because of the recent passage of a law by the North Carolina General Assembly known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which bans local governments in the state from instituting protective measures against anti-discrimination based on sexual orientation; and requires transgender people in public schools, universities and government buildings to use washrooms which match the gender on their birth certificates.

Are You Avoiding Travel to North Carolina Because of the “Bathroom” Law?

A measure was passed by the city of Charlotte — the largest city in North Carolina — to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from businesses to discriminate against them. It was set to become effective as of Friday, April 1, 2016; but the new state law — signed by Pat McCrory, who is the governor of North Carolina — overrode and therefore reversed the measure.

Of course, public buildings includes airports; so if you are a transgender person who has not taken the surgical and legal steps to change your gender on your birth certificate — and you are traveling to, from or through any airport in North Carolina and must use the facilities — you are affected by this new law…

…but even if your sexual orientation is of a straight heterosexual nature, the law purportedly limits how you can pursue claims of reasons of discrimination based on race, skin color, religious belief, age, biological gender, national origin or handicap in state courts.

A federal lawsuit initiated by the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the law as discriminatory.

Summary

I have no travel to North Carolina planned in the foreseeable future; but the part of the law which I simply do not understand is why transgender people must use washrooms which are of the gender that they were originally born. Whenever I use a public restroom, I do not exactly “flaunt my goods” for all to see — nor am I curious enough to want to see the private parts or bathroom habits of others — so why would I care if a man who was originally a woman uses the same washroom as me?

Despite having long had laws regulating such issues as discrimination in the workplace and the use of public accommodations such as washrooms, North Carolina is one of the states which is considered an “at will” state. That means that — with a limited number of exceptions — an employer can fire an employee for any reason and without explanation. While there has been limited protection available for people who are “different” than others, this new state law now clearly defines the rights — or lack thereof — of those people…

…and when I say those people, I am talking about you and I and everyone else: a white person working for a business operated by black people; a transgender person using a public washroom; a Muslim person in a Christian environment; a gay person wanting to marry a soulmate of the same gender; an elderly person seeking meaningful employment as a few of many reversible examples. The possibilities for discrimination are endless.

As a straight white male, I guess the question I have to ask is: are laws such as this one really necessary; and do laws similar to this one really solve any problems — or do they actually create more problems; and at a significant cost of time, money, effort and trust?

35 thoughts on “Are You Avoiding Travel to North Carolina Because of the “Bathroom” Law?”

  1. Melissa says:

    You wrote: “so why would I care if a man who was originally a woman uses the same washroom as me?” Typical male attitude thinking one way, not the other.

    You should care the other way: if a woman, who was originally a man….AND STILL IS A MAN….uses a woman’s room. The women don’t want HIM in there, the women that have privacy because they were originally a woman, and still are women have primary rights! The reason we have birth certificates is to prove your gender AT BIRTH. After that, the choice is not for everyone else to make simply because one person has something wrong in their head that belongs inside a mental institution.

    I care when people use their smart phones when stopped at a red light and stay there when it’s green. They screw me up and have no right to stay there. The NC law is correct, stay out of NC then….you’ll get over it, it will pass, women use women’s rooms that are only women and were born that way. No one died over a skew of simmered feelings.

  2. Melissa says:

    You wrote: “so why would I care if a man who was originally a woman uses the same washroom as me?” Typical male attitude thinking one way, not the other.

    You should care the other way: if a woman, who was originally a man….AND STILL IS A MAN….uses a woman’s room. The women don’t want HIM in there, the women that have privacy because they were originally a woman, and still are women have primary rights! The reason we have birth certificates is to prove your gender AT BIRTH. After that, the choice is not for everyone else to make simply because one person has something wrong in their head that belongs inside a mental institution.

    I care when people use their smart phones when stopped at a red light and stay there when it’s green. They screw me up and have no right to stay there. The NC law is correct, stay out of NC then….you’ll get over it, it will pass, women use women’s rooms that are only women and were born that way. No one died over a skew of simmered feelings on the charcoal—-it will go out.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I do not necessarily disagree with you, Melissa pertaining to the washroom situation; but I certainly could not comment from the female point of view as I have never been in a public washroom for women.

      I appreciate you posting your thoughts here.

    2. Jacob says:

      Very well said Melissa. I wholeheartedly agree with what you said. The level of intolerance of those liberals amuses me.

    3. Rose says:

      Gender is a matter of genitals and trans women belong in mental institutions?

      The mid-20th century called, Melissa; it wants its benighted worldview back.

      I think the times may have passed you by, friend-o.

      1. Jon says:

        Mid 20th century? I’d say mid 14th century. Those kind of thoughts are protected by free speech, but it doesn’t mean you’re still not a bigoted ass hat. See? I can say that too 🙂

  3. Mike says:

    So Melissa seems pretty cool…

  4. kenny says:

    I say you use the bathroom that fits your anatomy as it is now, I don’t care how it got there. Penises to the left, Vs to the right. I guess you can choose if you have both.

  5. DaninMCI says:

    Wanting a person to use a restroom of the physical gender they are doesn’t seem all that complicated to me.
    I also don’t think I see many people denied bathroom rights based on rave or religion.

    I would hope Atlanta, New York, etc. Wouldn’t send any people on trips for “unofficial” travel.

    In countries outside the USA it’s common to see women in men’s restroom, cleaning etc while they ate in use.

    In public places we should just have one big restroom for all genders that way there would be no such problems, I’m sure.

  6. nowhereman says:

    Is it really transexuals being discriminated against or non-transexuals? Non-transsexuals don’t get a choice restroom to use, but transsexuals do?

    1. Rose says:

      I think the idea is that everyone uses the restroom appropriate to their gender (not their sex).

      And sure, gender identity is a person’s choice. Who else’s choice would it be? Yours?

  7. nowhereman says:

    Given the “flaunt my goods” argument” how do you feel about transsexuals and showering at schools? Especially if showers are open (no separated stalls)?

  8. Charles says:

    I really do not want my daughter joined in the Ladies room by any male that self selects to use the ladies room at that point. There is no national ID system to identify trans gender people, it is only their word. I see the potential for misuse and trouble.
    You stated I do not exactly “flaunt my goods” for all to see — nor am I curious enough to want to see the private parts or bathroom habits of others — so why would I care if a man who was originally a woman uses the same washroom as me?”
    Based on the above statement, why do we not have one large rest room for all? Obviously our current culture is accustomed to separation, I just want the law to continue to protect my daughter.
    I would be open to have those that consider themselves to be trans to have a special Government issued ID, not a spur of the moment decision to be used by a pervert.
    NO, I am not calling trans the p word, I am concerned about perverts PRETENDING to be trans.

  9. Rich says:

    I have trans friends of both genders. My trans male friend Mark, a big African-American guy, is more masculine-looking and -acting than I am (and nobody considers me feminine). He has an impressive beard and male-pattern baldness, so I infer that he’s on testosterone. I don’t think he’s had genital surgery, but I’ve never asked–I don’t know why it would be my business unless we wanted to have sex with each other, and he’s not my type. If he went into a women’s restroom he’d alarm everybody else in there, and be at severe risk of being assaulted by a protective boyfriend when he left.

    Then there’s my trans female friend Donna. She’s pretty feminine, though you might guess that she was trans (where I think no one would with Mark). If Donna went into the men’s room, she’d be at very severe risk of getting beaten up–she’d be identifying herself to any trans-hating bigots as “a man in a dress”.

    For that matter, there’s my very butch (female) friend Bonnie. She’s female, and identifies as female, but she looks more masculine than Donna does. If there’s a law that motivates people to challenge Donna when she goes into the restroom, *more* people will hassle Bonnie than Donna. At least now people just give her the benefit of the doubt.

    I don’t know what purpose is served by making Mark and Donna chose between risking arrest by going into the restroom for the gender they’re presenting as and risking assault by going into the restroom for the gender on their birth certificate. (And an answer that says that they belong in a mental institution anyway is, to say the least, not constructive.)

    A room with open showers presents a more arguable issue, but for restrooms? When Mark goes into the men’s room, he’ll pee in a stall because, well, parts. When Donna goes into the women’s room, she’ll pee in a stall because that’s all there is.

    And if someone if actively bothering someone else in the restroom by doing something other than what the restroom is intended for–well, that’s already illegal, regardless of whether we’ve decided to make trans people’s lives (even more) difficult.

  10. David Young says:

    Why, by any stretch of any imagination, do I care what bathroom somebody else uses? If I gotta pee or wash my hands or whatever, I really don’t care what the guy / gal / used to be a guy / used to be a gal / whatever next to me is doing.

    Look, if people want to hate their fellow Americans for any reason, that’s their right. If you want to hate gays, trans, muslims, whatever, go for it. But keep it in your own hate-cave. When you venture into the real world, please try to act like a decent human and treat everyone with respect.

    As for passing laws so the haters can hate in public, that’s not cool. I think I’ll pass on NC until they come on into the 21st century.

  11. Alan says:

    Another PC thing blown way out of it’s place by media. I’ll be first to say i’m not a trump fan, but why do you think he’s so popular. There are MANY more important things in this country that need to be fixed and addressed, and this thing has NO bearing on if i choose to visit North Carolina. Our Grandparents,labeled by some as the greatest generation, would roll over in their graves if they could see the issues we make out to be larger than life.

  12. Jon says:

    As a native North Carolinian, I just cancelled my flight on Delta. They gave me a little pushback when they tried to charge me the $200 change fee but I told that it was due to government regulations that I could not take my trip.

    After a supervisor was involved, the refund was processed and I am changing my travel plans.

    Sorry NC. Not this time.

  13. Jason says:

    Brian, thank you for walking the line and making great points. The law is a red herring, meant to distract from actual political crises such as unemployment, education cuts, infrastructure decay, etc. It’s easier to marginalize the unprotected than tackle actual progress.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I felt that this was an important topic which needed to be discussed, Jason.

      Thank you for your support. I appreciate it.

  14. MFK says:

    I have never been to either of the Carolinas due to a variety of reasons. I had been interested recently in traveling to both to sample their traditional and emerging foodie culture, but S. Carolina’s flag issues presented a problem for me. After the recent tragedy there, their governor finally took the right steps (in my view), so I was looking into a trip to both. Unfortunately and unexpectedly, now N. Carolina has become the problem for me. So my trip is off the board again. Not just for what I perceive to be intolerance, but also for the hypocrisy of people who constantly argue for local control then turn to state or federal authorities when things don’t go their way at the local or state level, respectively.

  15. Carl P says:

    I think people often call other haters and phobes when they are close-minded to any views other than their own. It’s a way to try to stop debate.

  16. Lindsay says:

    I’m originally from North Carolina, but now live in California. I visit NC at least twice a year, but am seriously considering not going there any more until this law is repealed. People like Melissa in these comments make me wonder if they ever actually leave the house. If you honestly believe that people who are transgendered have done this because of some sneaky plan to see your children use the toilet, you are seriously out of touch and have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Here’s a news flash: if you have used a public restroom some time in the last 30 years, there is almost 100% probability that you used it with a transgendered person. And you were totally fine. This is legalized discrimination and it pains me to see that North Carolina will some day be seen as one of the last bastions of this ignorance. People need to get a grip, grow up, and mind their own business.

  17. Stacys says:

    Seriously?! It’s hard enough worrying about my kid(s) in public locker rooms. PLEASE let’s not invite the “sexually confused” individuals to displace the 99% of us that just go the bathroom how God made us.

  18. Ryan says:

    Personally I don’t see the need to have separate restrooms in the first place. Other countries seem to do just fine with mixed-gender facilities. I’d venture to guess that through most of our human history (and our evolutionary primate ancestors) there was little to no concern over separate areas for men and women to eliminate their waste.

  19. Steve R says:

    Seriously? The PC stuff has to end. Vote Trump. Support the ban on forcing people to adhere to radical agendas. So, I’ll start planning a trip to N.C. with the assurance that some female pervert claiming to be a trans won’t enter the privately-owned male restroom. We actually need to dismantle many nanny and nuisance laws in this country that has become a freak show. No more forced social engineering agendas.

    1. Rich says:

      Really? Which is the forced social engineering agenda? Allowing a trans guy with a beard and male-pattern baldness, who presents himself to the world as a man, to use the men’s room as he’s been doing for years with absolutely no issue, or forcing him to use the women’s room where nobody will be happy with him being there? North Carolina is the place that’s forcing a radical agenda. You say you want to “dismantle … nuisance laws”, but North Carolina has added a law, not dismantled anything.

  20. OAB - overactivebladder says:

    I finally feel safe going to a public toilet.

  21. Ramsey says:

    Sorry Brian, I am not going to be politically correct here. Do you really want a guy in a wig that has a penis and is mentally ill going to the bathroom with your daughter. These “transgenders” are messed up in the head, I worked with a number of them who went to Sweden (years ago for a sex change operation) and they were ALL wack. I am glad I am getting old and going to die soon because I think things are going to hell. Vote Trump –
    F – Lying Ted.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      No need to apologize, Ramsey. I prefer that you are not politically correct; and you know that you are welcome to post here any time.

  22. Rob says:

    So I’m a healthy 20 something male. I happen to be attracted to healthy attractive 20 something females. Let’s say I throw on a skirt and go into the ladies shower at the local YWCA to get a peek at the ladies. Of course, this is totally fine because I “identify” as a female- at least for a few hours. Anybody go an issue with that? Hope not because my behavior will be protected by law and if you say anything I will label you a Neanderthal sexual identity bigot racist right wing nut. An extreme scenario? maybe…maybe not.

  23. WAE says:

    I will not travel to North Carolina because their legislature voted for, and their governor signed into law, a ban on any local government creating anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation. Laws should protect people from discrimination, not ban protecting people from discrimination.

    The number of negative comments about trans people is disheartening, especially in a travel blog. Visiting other places and meeting all kinds of people can provide a true “life education.” I naively thought that people were more educated on the difference between gender and gender identity.

    I have met more than one transgendered person in my travels. I try to empathize with the challenges they face. I admire their courage and respect (and stand with them) in demanding equal rights. The NC law will, undoubtedly, be ruled unconstitutional.

    The bathroom access that alarms some people can be resolved by creating private, locked rooms [like many “accessible” bathrooms] that anyone can use. It will be more expensive, but safer for everyone regardless of how they identify.

  24. DFWSteve says:

    I’m way too busy serving clients and taking care of employees to worry about the political cause dujour. Apparently others have way more time on their hands.

  25. nowhereman says:

    DFWSteve – We are duly impressed. I’m surprised you had time to look at the blog and respond.

  26. Robbo says:

    Companies, professional sports organizations and government agencies? Who are they, can you name them? I doubt you can. What a load of rubbish this is. Give me there names and I will black-ban them. My goodness me, I get so sick and tired of this out of control PC rubbish that goes on in America. What is happening to the land of the free? If NC wants to stop homosexuals using the female toilets, it’s their choice. If they do, it gives me choices as well. Less homosexuals flaunting their beliefs on my family. Who cares what these people do in their own bedrooms. Who gives a toss? Women need to be safe when they go to a public toilet and know that there are not homosexuals lurking.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The governments of the District of Columbia, Boston, Vermont, New York, Washington state, Connecticut; the NBA, ESPN and NCAA; IBM, Apple, Google, Facebook and PayPal; and even the film industry as a whole are all either taking action or considering taking action — in the forms of boycotts or travel bans — against the state of North Carolina as a result of the new law…

      …and that is only a partial list, Robbo — and that list keeps growing. I would provide the multiple sources from which that information came; but I do not want to deny you the fun of searching for yourself.

      As for the statement about companies, professional sports organizations and government agencies: you are correct. I should have also included media outlets — such as the aforementioned ESPN — and the film industry as well to that statement.

      Is there anything else with which I can help you today?

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