A cultural divide?

All-gender restroom at Davidson College's Multicultural House. (David Boraks photo)
All-gender restroom at Davidson College’s Multicultural House. (David Boraks photo)

I spoke at a Davidson College seminar Monday afternoon. The Multicultural House and other locations around campus have all-gender restrooms.  It got me thinking about the bill that North Carolina lawmakers passed last month. House Bill 2 excludes #LGBT people from protections under anti-discrimination laws.

HB 2’s passage and quick signing by Gov. Pat McCrory prompted Davidson to say it opposed HB 2, and would continue to offer restrooms like these.

“As a longtime advocate for inclusivity, access and equality, Davidson resolutely opposes any effort to exclude or discriminate against any person on the basis of gender or sexual orientation,” the college said in a statement on its website.

The bill was a response to Charlotte’s update of its anti-discrimination ordinance, which among other things would have guaranteed trans people could use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

For my out of state friends, the controversy over this bill is about more than bathrooms. The law eliminates the right to sue for any kind of discrimination in state court, it prohibits local governments from setting their own minimum wages and limits local anti-discrimination laws.

The state is politically and culturally divided.


March 29, 2016, WFAE.org, “Sorting The Myths And Facts Of North Carolina’s HB 2” – My colleague Tom Bullock takes a broader look at the bill, beyond bathrooms.

April 12, 2016, WFAE.org, “Charlotte Transgender Woman Documents LGBT Friendly Restrooms” – Sara Delia talks to a woman who is listing Charlotte businesses that don’t discriminate on bathrooms.

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