Tag Archives: lgbt

Stating the obvious on HB2 in NC

3 Apr

For those who missed it the NC General Assembly passed legislation at the end of March that overruled all other NC law in two main categories: First, no counties or municipalities can pass any form of statute that gives extra protections to specified groups and second, those same smaller governments cannot raise the minimum wage above the state level.
The law, HB2, has gotten a lot of flack because of its status as a “bathroom bill” due to its immediate effect being that transgender and transexual citizens have to legally use the bathroom that matches their biological (at birth) sex. This is regardless of whatever stage in transition the person who has too many coffees may be in. It has been described by proponents as a law that’s utility is found in protecting children and other other adults from sexual predation of any form. The law presents itself a solution without a problem because we already have laws in NC concerning indecency.
Proponents also say that this law expands uniform civil rights across the state. Gov. Pat McCrory has supported his signing in baffled tones illustrating examples that this increases liberty, nevertheless it disallows counties and municipalities from passing stricter laws.
The current list of NC protected classes leaves outs gays, lesbians, trans, queer, veterans, and seniors. If the City of Winston-Salem wanted to pass a statue that said veterans had a protected status in employment practices the state can overrule it. If the City of Durham wanted to pass an ordinance saying all restaurants must serve Muslims then only the state and federal laws would have any jurisdiction.
Why is that important? Because this opens the door for ultimately more discrimination statewide because the state law reduces the ability of citizens to have legal recourse locally and forces them to seek action where it is more difficult and expensive: state and federal court. It’s also contrary to the hallmark argument conservatives give about Federalism: It allows people at the local level the ability to make the decisions concerning those people.
Additionally HB2 attached the mercantile carrot to the quagmire stick: local governments cannot increase the minimum wage. So if Asheville or Wilmington wanted to pass legislation that raised minimum wage even the slightest amounts (on the heels of West Coast cities doing so) it’s not legal. Businesses have that added legal protection to insulate from even having to pick a position.. However, in the public relations nightmare this has created it’s cold comfort no insulating can help.
A wedge issue has stripped North Carolina of its dignity.


Duck Call Politics

24 Dec

Duck CallsOver the course of the past few days I’ve been listening to all the different arguments concerning the Duck Dynasty personality Phil Robertson and his indefinite suspension from A&E. I’ve listened to pundits, family, friends, Facebook, and Twitter. People have quoted everything from the First Amendment to the Bible in asserting their point of view with his paraphrasing of Christian philosophy. So, I wonder: Is hiding behind theology to assert a controversial religious opinion “duck call politics”?

His “freedom of speech” wasn’t violated by being suspended.

Freedom of Speech is a guarantee that government will not infringe your ability to state fringe, crazy things. Well, most crazy things. If his employer wants to say, “That out of line. Go sit in time-out.” they can. It’s their network.

The controversy isn’t really about ┬áRobertson saying what he said. It’s because A&E indefinitely suspended him.

They’re a private company who knew exactly who they had hired, but still had to take a stand on the issue. Part of it was a moral position, part of it was public relations, and I wouldn’t be surprised if was partially a publicity stunt.

The “he was just quoting scripture” or “it’s his religion” is moot because:┬ábestiality.

A lot of people have a lot of religious beliefs and good for them. However, you can’t just go and compare something to raping an animal and not expect the people who are being compared to be just the tiniest bit offended.

Referring to this as “hate speech” in a mocking tone.

Let’s say it’s not hate speech. Would you like it if you were compared to a goat fucker? Is that slightly offensive? What about if the person you loved was called a goat fucker? Your brother? Sister? Aunt, uncle, best friend, MOM or DAD.

Saying liberals or anyone who is criticizing him is intolerant.

Is being intolerant of intolerant speech redundant, repetitive, ironic, or just a lousy observation? The entire idea or statement that being ridiculed for saying something ridiculous is showing “intolerance” is purely a simple answer or tagline for people who think “critical thinking skills” are what’s used to fill out a 1040EZ form on April 14th.

The arguments become more specious and ludicrous the further they span out from the actual heart of the story. While we realize that this country and this world views LGBT as some monolithic group with the same set of values, proclivities, and tastes it couldn’t be farther from the truth. What Phil Robertson said, the patriarch–a title that is almost implied to mean he has no ability to comprehend feminism–of the duck dynasty, is a common sentiment among a wide swath of Americans who view homosexuality as immoral and curable, however, it overlooks the individuality of each member of both communities by forcing the same stupid tribalism that has haunted every single social movement in the history of our nation.

Finally: Nobody cares about your thoughts on the morality of homosexuality or if you “agree with that lifestyle”. It’s a social issue and it’s not just one lifestyle.

Lifestyles you are allowed to disagree with:

  • Violent criminals
  • Sex offenders
  • Bigots
  • Men who grow beards they choose not to trim

Lifestyles you cannot disagree with:

  • Homosexuality
  • Watching all of “Sherlock” in one day on Netflix
  • Eating a box of cereal in one sitting, especially Fruity Pebbles