March 24, 2016
Yesterday, leaders in North Carolina achieved more in a day than many state leaders have been able to accomplish in years. In a single-day special session, legislators passed and the governor signed into law protections for the privacy of children and women using school and public bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms in the Tar Heel state. Governor Pat McCrory (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R), and House Speaker Tim Moore (R) are to be commended for a day's work well done!
A month ago, the Charlotte City Council revived and passed a previously failed effort to establish special rights for people who identify as transgender. The law added "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" (SOGI) to the list of protected classes like race, national origin, and sex to the city's nondiscrimination code. The change was billed as "tolerant" and "inclusive," but as we've seen time and again it effectively opened every public bathroom, every gym shower, and every school locker room in the city to anyone, regardless of their biological sex. Despite thousands of calls, emails, and testimony from Charlotte residents -- including the Benham brothers -- who have experienced first-hand the heightened hostility and discrimination against Christians who hold to a biblical view of marriage and sexuality, the Council voted to force all businesses and places of public accommodation in city limits to recognize every person's preferred "gender identity" or face heavy fines and penalties.
This is where the Left leads us when left unchecked by common sense: The privacy of women and children must be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. This reckless abandon of common sense threatens the safety and freedoms of Americans from Seattle to Houston.
Thankfully, state leaders stood up and common sense prevailed yesterday in North Carolina, days before the Charlotte ordinance was set to take effect. Even before the Council voted, Gov. McCrory and Lt. Gov. Forest (who presides over the Senate) made it abundantly clear that they would act to protect North Carolinians. The new law, Gov. McCrory warned, would "create major public safety issues." "It is not only the citizens of Charlotte that will be impacted by changing basic restroom and locker room norms," he wrote, "but also citizens from across our state and nation who visit and work in Charlotte."
Lt. Gov. Forest was even more direct: "Girls' bathrooms are for girls, boys' bathrooms are for boys. The fact we are even debating this is a sad commentary on where we are as a society."
If you live in North Carolina, please take a moment to thank Gov. McCrory, Lt. Governor Forest, and Speaker Moore for their courage in the face of fierce opposition on social media, staged protests to disrupt debate, and Democratic drama as Democrats in the Senate walked out. Because these men refused to be bullied and intimidated, North Carolina becomes the third state (after Tennessee and Arkansas) to protect its citizens in bathrooms and locker rooms.
And no matter where you live, take a moment to tell your elected officials that you support protecting the rights of the majority of Americans who continue to believe in biblical sexuality and natural marriage.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.