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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Randolph County HB2: The most hateful county in North Carolina

In ancient times, public toilets were just that, public, communal. Like a town square, large stone benches with holes in the latrine sat over running water that flowed beneath. Men and women sat side by side having conversations and taking care of business. These days it's all a private affair, so much so that I cannot recall the last time (in this country) I've been in a toilet without partitioned stalls and locking doors. So I'm confused as to why the Governor McCrory felt the need to pass HB2 and more to the point, why Randolph County felt it necessary to publically support the measure? The only answer is hate and fear.

Even more interesting is the Courier Tribune ran a non-scientific public opinion poll of Randolph County citizens showing that the respondents were against HB2. This means that Randolph County Government literally voted to support a measure that was entirely superfluous and did so against the opinion of its constituents. This despite there has never been a single instance of a need for this law in Randolph County, and the absolute silliness of all this as it's completely unenforceable and will be completely ignored.

If anything will come of this measure it's hostility. Hostility not towards LGBT people (though it definitely could) but hostility towards non-LGBT individuals, those who don't conform to traditional gender stereotypes. How long before ambiguity leads to confrontation? How long before someone takes HB2 into their own hands and it leads to violence? Violence against these same women and men that HB2 purports to protect.

If this law was aimed at other minorities we would call it racism. If it was aimed at foreigners we would call it xenophobic and it's important to remember that the words and expressions of local government who support HB2 is nothing short of hate speech.  Unlike the U.S., hate speech is largely been criminalized in Europe thanks to a 2008 European Union decision. What's that got to do with little  Randolph County? Why are companies pulling out of North Carolina? Because almost every multi-national corporation currently operating in this great state of ours, which also operates within countries that fall under the European Union framework are at risk of being in violation the 2008 decision should they be forced to implement HB2. The higher legal standard applies. Even with regard to U.S. law, the possibility for a lawsuit due to violence or a hostile workplace is enough to send companies running.

In all honesty, they should. Run away from this place until it's inclusive to people of all gender, race and religious beliefs. This is totalitarianism at its worst. It's hateful, wrong and morally repulsive.