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NC Caves to Moneyed Interests, Deserts Women and Children

North Carolina legislators approved legislation repealing parts of HB2 yesterday.

HB2 was a common sense law that protected the privacy rights of women and children in schools and other government buildings by requiring that individuals use only restrooms and changing facilities consistent with their biological sex.

The repeal legislation, which is the result of a compromise between Democratic and Republican legislators, is designed to appease the NCAA, who threatened to prevent the state from hosting college sports championships unless the state repealed the contentious law.

In a press statement released after the passage of the legislation, NC Values Coalition President Tami Fitzgerald blamed state leaders for “letting down” North Carolinians:

“The truth remains, no basketball game, corporation, or entertainment event is worth even one little girl losing her privacy and dignity to a boy in the locker room, or being harmed or frightened in a bathroom.

“I hope that our state will learn from this and stand stronger in the future against the bullying and intimidation tactics of groups like the NCAA, the NBA, and billion dollar corporations who care more about their political, hypocritical agendas than the well-being and dignity of the people in our great state.”

The legislation passed yesterday repeals HB2’s prohibitions on individuals using the bathroom, changing facilities, and showers of their choice, regardless of biological sex.

However, it maintains HB2’s ban disallowing local governments from passing their own policies regarding private areas for three years.

HB2 was made necessary after the Charlotte City Council approved an ordinance forcing all businesses, schools, churches, and government buildings to allow individuals to use the bathroom, locker room, or changing facility of their choice, regardless of biological sex.

Ironically, the repeal legislation was opposed by both pro-family and liberal groups. Pro-family organizations view the deal as selling out the privacy of women and children to appease big business.

Liberal organizations like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the Human Rights Campaign oppose the compromise because it maintains the three-year prohibition preventing local governments from setting their own policies.

Some companies and organizations threatened to leave the state and encouraged a boycott after the passage of HB2 last March.

Despite the boycott, tourism is “thriving” and business is “booming” in North Carolina, according to the Washington Times. The paper claims that North Carolina’s economy was generally unharmed by threats of boycotts and desertions.

 

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

UPDATE: NC Refuses to Repeal HB2

The North Carolina General Assembly has abandoned efforts to repeal HB2, a common sense law that protects the privacy rights and safety of women and children.

The state legislature’s refusal to repeal HB2 comes just days after the public learned that a deal had been struck between the North Carolina General Assembly and the City of Charlotte.

Under the conditions of the deal, the City of Charlotte had agreed to repeal its controversial local ordinance requiring business owners, schools, and other places of public accommodations to allow biological men to use the same locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms as females, provided that the state repeal HB2.

However, while the ink on the deal was still drying, the Charlotte City Council made clear its intention to violate the spirit of the deal by allowing for the possibility of reenacting the city ordinance after the state legislature would have repealed HB2.  The resolution adopted by the City Council states,

“Whereas, in the event that the North Carolina General Assembly grants or restores the authority of the City to enact ordinances on the matters that were subject of the preempted and invalidated ordinances, the City Council could enact new ordinances.”

Thankfully, the North Carolina legislature recognized the deal’s faults and decided to stand with the state’s families and businesses.

HB2 protects the privacy rights of women and children in schools and other government buildings by requiring that individuals use only restrooms and changing facilities consistent with their biological sex.

HB2 also allows private businesses to set the policies for bathrooms and showers in their buildings by preventing local cities from enacting ordinances that violate the rights of business owners.  Likewise, under HB2, business owners who disagree with the notion of sex-segregated bathrooms and showers can still allow biological males to use female facilities.

Unfortunately, many other cities and states (including Washington State) still require schools and businesses to allow biological men to share bathrooms and showers with women.

Breaking News: NC Set to Betray Women and Children

News broke yesterday that the North Carolina General Assembly will begin a special session on Wednesday, December 21, to consider repealing HB 2, a state law that protects the privacy rights of women and children, as well as the freedom of association and property rights of business owners.

The special legislative session is part of a backroom deal between the state legislature and the Charlotte City Council. Provided that the state legislature repeals HB 2 by the end of the year, the city has agreed to repeal a controversial ordinance requiring businesses to allow individuals to use the other biological sex’s locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms.

Unfortunately, this deal isn’t worth the paper it is written on. Once the state repeals HB 2, there will be no remaining legal barriers to stop North Carolina cities from passing ordinances that threaten the privacy and safety of women and children.

Take action by calling and emailing Speaker Tim Moore (Tim.Moore@ncleg.net; (919) 733-3451) and Senate President Pro Tempore, Senator Phil Berger (Phil.Berger@ncleg.net; (919) 733-5708). Let them know you think this is a bad deal that betrays pro-family voters and abandons women and children.

Shoving Men Into Women’s Spaces Isn’t Progress

The day my dad enrolled me in an after school teenage boys’ basketball training program, I cried.

At age 13, I was already 5’11’’ and weighed 125 pounds — an awkward conglomeration of gangly knees, elbows, and a singular dark eyebrow that crept across my forehead like a gluttonous caterpillar. If I was going to be this tall, you might as well put a ball in my hands and see what happens, right?

Everything about the scenario was painful.

In retrospect, my dad had the right idea. He knew that practicing with boys would improve my game, and it did. I made the varsity squad as a sophomore, set a couple school records for shot blocking, and eventually earned a significant scholarship at a small college. I was a pretty good basketball player.

For a girl.

There, I said it. The feminist in me recoils at reading those words, but the truth teller in me can’t help but admit the biological reality that presents, in exaggerated fullness, during high school: there’s an undeniable physical difference between the sexes that cannot be overcome by sheer willpower or wishing.

On my own team, I never lost a set of lines, I finished first in most of the conditioning drills, and worked my tail off to be on the starting squad. But at after school training? Even the C-Team boys were lapping me on the track, beating me down the court, and lifting more than double my maximum efforts in the weight room.

I was overpowered. I felt “less than.”

Why am I telling you all this? I share it because it highlights one of the most prominent challenges so many females experience as they navigate life and especially as they navigate the oh-so-painful world of high school: we walk around with the keen understanding that, in many ways, we are perceived as “less than” our male counterparts. There are certain realms where we know we will have to work twice as hard to exist. There are other realms where we know it’s unlikely we will ever really have a role. Think, for example, of the NBA or the NFL.

Now don’t get me wrong; there are some phenomenal female athletes who can dance circles around men in certain areas. Serena Williams and Diana Nyad come immediately to mind. But as a whole, women innately know that they won’t be respected or validated in certain spheres. Thus, it becomes incredibly important for us to have our own unique qualities and experiences specific to us.

Men and women were created different in function but equal in value. But there’s a power differential in play, and women often end up on the losing side of it. That’s why Title IX came to exist in the first place — to carve out space for women like me to participate and thrive without being bulldozed or eclipsed by men.

But recent history has seen so many of these spaces being erased by pervasive and incredibly foolish gender identity politics that, 99% of the time, only really serve to benefit anatomical males who believe themselves to be female. I was irritated when I read that a 6’6’’ male was given a spot on the women’s basketball team at Mission College in California and that he went on to be named an All-American who led the league in rebounds and helped his team win the championship game. All I could think about was how some poor girl somewhere would not get a chance to play college basketball because someone decided to give her spot to a man.

I rolled my eyes when I read that a transgender man (a biological woman) had given birth to a child, as though this was somehow newsworthy. (Women have been bearing children since the dawn of time. It’s one of the many amazing things we were designed to do.)

And it upset me to hear that President Obama had decreed from on high that women’s homeless shelters (where abused women regularly go to escape men) will now be open to men.

But when I read that a high school in North Carolina had elected a teenage boy as its homecoming queen, I was admittedly surprised by the intensity of the emotional response the news solicited within me.

Gender identity politics are offensive on so many levels. For one thing, the widespread indulging of obvious delusion makes idiots of us all.  In fact, I shudder to think what the history books will say about this modern day retelling of The Emperor’s New Clothes and the seemingly epidemic courage deficit in rightly naming it. But beyond the obvious insult to our intelligence, the trans-agenda is essentially ushering in the erasure of women and obliterating the idea that females have anything unique to contribute to the world.

As previously illustrated, high school can be rough for girls who are struggling to find their place in the greater scheme of things, especially as it relates to the boys around them. In theory, a homecoming queen is supposed to be representative of the best of these girls — a female who navigates life with confidence, kindness, poise, and dignity. Homecoming queen is supposed to be a position to which girls can aspire.

What does it say then, when, of all the girls in the entire high school, none of them are deemed good enough to win the title of homecoming queen? What does it say when the best possible candidate to represent high school girls is actually a high school boy?  Most heartbreaking of all, what does it say about these girls when they choose female erasure for themselves?

The mainstream media covers this story from an angle that celebrates the open-mindedness and compassion of these high school students in their “bold decision” to “affirm and embrace” this boy’s illness. But it’s a shallow celebration, devoid of any wisdom or foresight.

True compassion should never require women to compromise the things that belong to their dignity. True compassion should never require people to compromise reality for fantasy. True compassion should never strip high school girls of one of the very few things that rightly belongs to them in order to give it to a boy.

Tammy Wynette hit the nail on the head when she sang, “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.”

It’s especially hard to be a woman when we are no longer legally allowed to clearly define what that means. And it’s going to be even harder when an entire generation of girls has successfully been trained to believe that their erasure is somehow progress.

The day we allow that to happen, we won’t just FEEL like we are “less than.” It will actually be true.

Not on my watch.

How You Can Help in North Carolina

 

Common sense can get you in a lot of trouble these days!

Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina is under a lot of pressure from activists on the left — all because he signed a bill into law that protects women and children from being forced to share bathrooms with men. The widely-supported N.C. law stops men from going into women’s restrooms, showers, and locker rooms, and it stopped a dangerous bathroom ordinance in Charlotte — similar to the law Houston voters resoundingly defeated at the polls last year — from going into effect.

In response, the Governors of WashingtonNew York, and Connecticut have banned state travel to North Carolina, and the NBA has threatened to move the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte.

Right now, it is important to join with our friends in North Carolina, and to honor Governor Pat McCrory for doing the right thing.

Check out Governor McCrory’s strong stand for common sense when it comes to bathrooms: (Watch here)

Will you join common sense conservatives across the country as we support and thank Governor McCrory?

Here’s how you can quickly and easily help us thank Governor McCrory:

  1. Call his officeto say ‘THANK YOU!’ for signing a common-sense privacy bill into law: 919-814-2000
  2. Send a ‘Thank You’ Postcard! People in every state are coming together to send thank you postcards to North Carolina Governor McCrory. It’s really easy to send. Just go to CitizenLink’s Action Center and fill out the form for the back of the postcard. Tell Gov. McCrory that any state that stands up for safety and privacy is a state you want to visit. We’ve included a sample message for convenience.  CLICK HERE to send your thank you postcard!
  3. Send Gov. McCrory a FB messageHERE to let him know that you and your family stand with NC!
  4. Tweet a thank youto him: Thanks @PatMcCroryNC for protecting safety & privacy in your state! Can’t wait to visit! CLICK HERE to send this tweet.

Thank you for standing with us, and with our friends in North Carolina! 

Obama Administration Threatens to Cut Funding from North Carolina

Several Obama administration officials have announced that their respective agencies are reviewing whether or not to strip federal funding from North Carolina.

This action follows the legislature’s passage of a new law protecting women and children from predators in locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms.  Administration officials who have spoken out against the new law, which was signed into law by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, say that the new law could make North Carolina ineligible for federal funds, and have launched investigations to make that determination.

Speaking in Charlotte last week, Transportation Secretary and North Carolina-native Anthony Foxx said that the U.S. Department of Transportation is reviewing whether or not to remove $1 billion in annual funding to North Carolina, adding that he finds the new law to be, “really disappointing.”

U.S. Department of Education Spokeswoman Dorie Nolt said that the Department of Education has started a review as well, putting $4.3 billion in federal funding on the line. “We will not hesitate to act if students’ civil rights are being violated,” she said.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has launched a similar evaluation. “We’re reviewing the effects of the law on HUD funding allocated for North Carolina,” said Cameron French, a department spokesman.

Governor Pat McCrory has repeatedly reassured North Carolinians that the state’s federal funds are not in any danger, but attempts to strip the state of federal funding are an obvious attempt by the Obama Administration to bully North Carolina — and other states who make decisions for the benefit of their state — back into submission.

A legal memo released Tuesday by the Alliance Defending Freedom backs up Governor McCrory’s claim. “Under current law, neither states nor school districts will lose Title IX funding for enacting laws and policies that require students to use the restrooms and locker rooms of their biological sex,” the memo states, adding that “no school district, university, or state has ever lost Title IX funding.”  Title IX’s regulations clearly state that “[a] recipient may provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” [1].

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest said that he is “confident that we will continue to receive this federal money despite the threats from a few in Washington, D.C.”

This isn’t the first time that the Obama Administration has used federal money to achieve policy changes on a local level.  In Illinois, the Administration achieved the policy it wanted after it threatened to withhold federal dollars from a school district when it didn’t allow a student who was biologically male to enter the female facilities.

We stand with North Carolina and Governor Pat McCrory in their efforts to keep safety and privacy at the center of state policy.

North Carolina is just one of several states — including Washington — who are grappling with the issue of open-locker rooms. The Just Want Privacy campaign has been established to make sure that women and children don’t become victims of bad public policy, and are working hard to give Washingtonians a voice on this issue come November.  If you support safety and common sense in locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms, please consider lending your efforts to the campaign.

[1] 34 C.F.R. § 106.33

North Carolina Takes a Stand for Bathroom Privacy

Finally, someone is standing up to the bully.

Last week the the North Carolina General Assembly convened a one-day special session to pass a law protecting privacy in locker rooms and bathrooms. In doing so, they repealed an ordinance in the city of Charlotte that would, among other things, allow men access to women’s locker rooms and bathrooms if they declared themselves to be a woman.

In response, the left has done what the left does best—be outraged.

Big businesses issued threats refusing to do business in North Carolina and Governors have issued travel bans.

But why are they hysterical?  They are hysterical because, lately, hysterics have worked.

First, Republican Governor Mike Pence surrendered to the bully in Indiana when he revoked religious liberty protections for his state under threat that businesses would decline to do business with them.

Last month, Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard from South Dakota vetoed legislation that required schools to maintain separate locker rooms and bathrooms for boys and girls because…discrimination…and we won’t take your money anymore if you do.

Just this week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a very modest religious freedom protection bill applying to pastors and religious non-profits under threats from Hollywood and big business to cease dealings in the state of Georgia.

The trifecta of Pence, Daugaard, and Deal seem to be reinforcing the stereotype that the only thing Republican’s care about is money.

These disappointments are part of what makes the common-sense, yet surprisingly heroic stand by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory so remarkable.

Despite the backlash, he still has the courage to say (not just whisper) that it is okay to require the boys and the girls to have separate showering areas.  He even seems to be having some fun exposing their hypocrisy.  And another important point; he’s surviving.

A challenge has been filed claiming that, among other things, having boys and girls locker rooms violates the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, they are now in court arguing that the amendment created to end slavery and institutionalized racism had buried within it the right for people with a penis to undress in the presence of little girls.

Sweet, sweet progress.

It just so happens that North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is refusing to defend his state’s new law, despite being statutorily required to do so.

Some of us may still remember that Kim Davis was sent to jail because she declined to sign same-sex marriage licenses out of moral conviction despite a legal duty to do so.

The left was very sure that Kim Davis needed to be dealt with harshly because, if government officials could decline to perform legally required job functions for moral reasons, then all manner of chaos would ensue.

Their strong, strong commitment to the rule of law is what compels them to now call for Mr. Cooper to resign his position as Attorney General in North Carolina.

Or not.

The NFL is trying to throw its self-righteous weight around as well.

Atlanta is currently under consideration to host the Super Bowl in 2019.  However, during the debate over Georgia’s religious freedom bill, the NFL threatened to remove Atlanta from consideration unless Gov. Deal vetoed.

What the NFL either didn’t know or didn’t bother to say is that the other two cities under consideration for 2019, Tampa Bay and New Orleans, are in states with much stronger religious freedom protections than the ones they claim to be outraged by in Georgia.

Perhaps Cuba will be a better location. That seemed to be what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo implied when he banned state travel to North Carolina in protest of their bathroom privacy law despite recently taking a trip to the tropical, island dictatorship.

Regardless, the probability of this being nothing more than political grandstanding is very high.

After all, the Syracuse University basketball team (from Syracuse, New York) played last weekend in the Final Four in Houston, Texas where just last November, voters approved—by 61%—the same law that is now generating faux outrage in North Carolina.

Not wanting to let Gov. Cuomo grandstand alone, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has called for a ban on “non-essential” (if it’s not essential, why are you doing it?) state travel to North Carolina as well, despite hosting the President of China last fall and flying the Communist Chinese flag on the capitol grounds.

This is the same China that has, for generations, used systematic abortion to enforce a one-child policy that they have only recently eased up on. They now allow most parents to have two children.

It is also the same China that has approximately 500,000 prisoners who have never been charged or tried, has incarcerated 15,000 people for “endangering internet security”, and arrested at least 220 human rights lawyers.

Speaking of China, that same NFL who claims to be too good for Atlanta is making plans to play regular season games in China as early as 2018.

This is the same NFL that was recently found to have illegally withheld $120 million from its players, and allows Greg Hardy (who did this to his girlfriend) to be one of their players.

But they’re too pure for Georgia.

The radical left will be who they are.  They will overreact, fake indignation, and threaten those who disagree with them.

But the fact is, they can do less than most of us fear unless we’re simply afraid of mean tweets.

When it’s all said and done, all these entities that are currently talking tough will ultimately do what’s in their best interest and it will be in everyone’s best interest to just move on.  We deal with people we disagree with all the time and we’re all better for it.

There are thirty-three states with laws just like North Carolina’s.

Are Microsoft, Apple and others going to stop doing business there?  No

Is the NFL going to restrict all its franchises to California, Washington, and New York? Of course not.

The Syracuse University Basketball team went to Houston just as they should—because everyone forgot about Houston.

A bully will always have just as much power as you give them.  The more you appease, the more they will bully.

Lately, we’ve been giving them a lot of power because we’ve had too many Pences, Daugaards, and Deals and not enough McCrorys.

As of today, Gov. McCrory is a coalition of one.

But he is in the process of proving that once you say no to the bully, the bully loses his power.  And defeating the bully isn’t important simply on principle.

In New York, you can now be fined up to $250,000 for using the wrong pronoun.  If the bully can force you to refer to a man as a woman, you’re not free in any real sense.

You’re just waiting for your next set of orders.

But thanks to Governor McCrory, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. North Carolina will continue to be a great state and people from New York will continue to move there because of it.  Sorry, Governor Cuomo.

Once he proves that you can stare down the bully and survive, others will follow his lead because, deep down, we know it’s the right thing to do anyway.   After all, everyone likes Churchill better than Chamberlain.

North Carolina Governor Under Attack for Protecting Women and Children

 

When North Carolina’s Governor, Pat McCrory, signed House Bill 2 into law, he knew that it would bring on a fight.

The bill, which was drafted and passed in an emergency session following the Charlotte city council’s vote to open bathrooms and locker rooms based on internal identification, was passed by both chambers and sent to the Governor’s desk for signature.  It was signed without hesitation.

Since it’s passage, the CEO’s of over 80 companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Charlotte-based Bank of America have signed onto a letter urging reversal of the law, claiming that the new law that seeks to protect safety and keep proper order in public locker rooms and bathrooms is, “bad for business.”  Several governors and mayors from around the United States have banned travel to the state until the law is reversed. The NBA has insinuated that it might pull its 2017 All-Star Game from the state.

But Governor Pat McCrory insists that the law does not remove any protections for those who choose to live as another gender, and has, to this point, remained steadfast in making sure the law protecting North Carolinians remains in effect.

Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and several other LGBT advocacy organizations filed a federal lawsuit against Governor McCrory, also naming North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper as a defendant in the suit, claiming that the new law violates the rights of transgendered people.

Subsequently, Attorney General Cooper said that he would not defend North Carolina’s new law, violating the oath he swore when entering office.

I, Roy Cooper, do solemnly swear that I will well and truly serve the State of North Carolina in the office of Attorney General. I will, in the execution of my office, endeavor to have the criminal laws fairly and impartially administered, so far as in me lies, according to the best of my knowledge and ability; so help me, God.

Attorney General Roy Cooper is planning to run against Governor McCrory in his reelection campaign this fall.

North Carolina Family Policy Council President John Rustin called the lawsuit “an appalling and inexcusable effort to supersede common sense laws in North Carolina.”  The group says that, if the lawsuit effort is successful, Charlotte’s nonsensical ordinance could be applied not just in Charlotte, but statewide.

Following filing of the lawsuit, Governor McCrory released this video to residents of North Carolina:

FPIW stands with the North Carolina Family Policy Council, Governor Patrick McCrory, and all North Carolinians in their quest to protect women and children from men in locker rooms.  You can follow the efforts to defeat this dangerous ruling in Washington by visiting the Just Want Privacy Campaign.

FPIW’s citizen training program, Olympia 101, has a few spots left for this Friday’s citizen training program.  Sign up to learn how to better engage in good public policy in our state!