In 2015, Charlotte’s city council debated an ordinance that would give protections to LGBT people while they were in city limits. From the very beginning of this ordinance, there was one problem. Bathrooms.
It’s pretty common knowledge that trans people pee. We were just wondering if we should allow them to do that safely. It’s a tough question if you don’t think about it.
Eventually, the bathroom provision was stripped from the ordinance, and two council members, LaWana Mayfield and John Autry, voted against it because it didn’t protect everyone. Mayfield in particular was very vocal about this, and liberals in the city were at first frustrated because we got nothing when we could have gained ground. It led to conversations about dividing us up as a community and worrying about trans issues after we’ve sorted out gay issues. That was a terrifying space of time.
Fast forward a year and bypass an election, and the city council is back at this ordinance. It passes easily after a few more hours of outsiders comments. Mayfield and Autry both vote for it. February 22nd is a day when Charlotte celebrates is culture.
Just a month later, a special session is called in the state legislature. It’s expensive to call legislators away from their campaign dinners and golfing tours, and debate lasts a day. Note, that isn’t one day in the house and another in the senate. That is one day from drafting to signing.
While calling the Charlotte ordinance rash and poorly written, legislators rushed through one of the worst laws in recent history. On March 23rd, Charlotte’s ordinance became ground zero for what would internationally be known as HB2.
HB2 covered more than just bathrooms, but all of the debate was centered there. Or, it was until the state started to lose money. While politicians were blowing each other through glory
holes patting each other on the back and police were trying to figure out a non confrontational way to figure out what genitals someone might have, Charlotte residents started to lose contracts and planned expansions.
While it may seem odd to boycott Charlotte for Raleigh’s bad decisions, it’s important to recognize that Raleigh doesn’t really have anything to boycott. The city that caused HB2 had almost nothing to lose from it.
Fortunately, it’s an election year. If these legislators wanted their seats, they needed to start working against HB2. So, they did.
Charlotte laughed off the “compromise” that would have kept much of the law intact, and rightfully so. The city has no reason to negotiate with the state when the court system will leave HB2 in the dust at some point regardless.
With full repeal on the table, we’re having this conversation again.
A full repeal of HB2 could save the state a lot of money. It would make NC less of an embarrassment and could save a lot of our culture. I’m in support of a full repeal of HB2.
The state doesn’t need Charlotte to have any part of that. They can repeal it now, and they should. Our ordinance is going absolutely nowhere. Charlotte made no mistakes in this story, unless you count not being vocal enough to take full credit for the ordinance.
With all due respect, Governor McCrory, suck my dick, because that’s the only reason you’ll need to know if I’ve got one.