SUPREME COURT WATCH: The Supreme Court Hears its Second Challenge to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Does it Protect Transgenders?)

SUPREME COURT - building (Newsmax)

by Diane Rufino, October 10, 2019

The Supreme Court just began its 2019-2020 term on Monday, October 7. The following day, on Oct. 8, the justices heard oral arguments in two potential landmark cases, both challenges to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The cases are Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia (Consolidated with Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda) and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the first case, the plaintiff asks the Supreme Court to include sexual orientation (LBGT) within the meaning of “sex” in Title VII for protection against discrimination. Bostock is a gay man. In the second case, which is the focus of this article, the plaintiff asks the Court to include transgender individuals for protection within the meaning of “sex” in Title VII.

The questions, of course, will be whether the provision was written to include such individuals and if not, whether or not the federal court has the proper authority to enlarge the meaning of Title VII to include them going forward.

The facts of the R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v EEOC case are as follows: The plaintiff (the challenger), Aimee Stephens, considered herself a transgender woman for most of her adult life but presented herself as a male, which he said caused him constant emotional stress. In 2013, he decided to come out to family and friends, and arranged to undergo reassignment surgery within the next year, and began to implement lifestyle changes consistent with his ultimate transition. At that time, he had been an employee of R.G. &. G.R. Harris Funeral Homes for six years and had a excellent work record. He wrote to his supervisor, explaining that he was taking a vacation and explaining his plans to transition to a female. He also notified the supervisor that when he returned to work, he would be wearing attire appropriate for a female employee. Note, when he returned, he would still be a biological male. He would not have had the surgery by that point. Two weeks later, Stephens was notified by mail that he had been terminated by the funeral home’s owner Thomas Rost. Stephens then filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), believing he was discriminated against on account of him being a transgender. He alleged that the provision in Title VII which protects a person from discrimination on account of ‘sex’ [“It shall be unlawful to discharge an individual because of that person’s sex…” (paraphrasing)] includes transgender individuals.

Title VII reads:

(a) Employer Practices. It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

This case, therefore, will determine (or may determine) whether discrimination on the basis of gender identity is covered by the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The EEOC surprisingly agreed with Stephens’ position and took the case against the funeral home to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. In 2016, the court found for the funeral home on two bases: (1) First, it held that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act neither encompassed transgender persons nor gender identity individuals (neither were considered protected classes, or even considered at all), and (2) Second, it held because Rost was a devout Christian who does not accept that one can change one’s gender and who ran the funeral home under his religion, he was protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The EEOC appealed to the Sixth Circuit, and in March 2018, it reversed the decision, ruling that Title’s VII “discrimination by sex” does include transgender persons. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) took the funeral home’s case and appealed to the Supreme Court for review. The Court accepted the case.

MY OPINION is that the Supreme Court should NOT decide this case. The Court should respect the language and intent of the legislature (Congress) when it passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Sexual orientation and gender identity were not included in the provision; those categories of individuals were not legislatively given protected status in the Act. It is NOT the role of the federal courts (or any court system) to make law from the bench or to enlarge the meaning of laws from the bench. That would be judicial activism. The proper recourse is for the Supreme Court to acknowledge that transgenders (gender identity individuals) and sexual orientation individuals present a new situation with respect to discrimination and then leave it to Congress to either amend Title VII to include them or to decline to include them as protected classes. But the rightful branch to address this issue is Congress, and the Supreme Court must respect that and not usurp that responsibility by reinterpreting the law and enlarging its meaning judicially.

NC VALUES founder, president, and spokeswoman, Tami Fitzgerald was at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Oct. 8 for the oral arguments. She delivered a speech on the steps of the imposing building, urging her view and the view of NC Values regarding Title VII. The transcript of her remarks is provided below. Her remarks are well worth the read:

“We are here today to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to restore sanity and the rule of law. Americans should be able to rely on what the law says. Yet, in these three cases, the lower courts have effectively redefined the word “sex” in federal law to include “gender identity,” creating unfair situations for women and girls, and punishing businesses like Harris Funeral Homes for relying on what the law says. Redefining “sex” to mean “gender identity” creates chaos and is unfair to women and girls.

Title VII was enacted to ensure that men and women have equal employment opportunities. It was not designed to be a radical social engineering project that shoehorns sexual liberties into federal law. Yet some lower courts, including the Sixth and Second Circuits, jump from stereotypical ideas about the roles of men and women to conclusions that render heterosexuality—and even the very idea of biological sex—illicit stereotypes.

The cases at issue here, have ripped the stereotyping terminology from the pages of the Supreme Court’s earlier decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins and commandeered it for purposes far removed from Title VII’s objectives. The result is a sweeping redefinition of biological reality that injects sexual orientation and/or gender identity into the meaning of the word “sex.”

Title VII’s relevant protected characteristic is “sex,” which in 1964 and still today means biological sex. Plaintiffs now demand protection for sexual orientation (Zarda, Bostock) and gender identity (Harris)—which are both radically different categories.

The Sixth Circuit substitutes gender identity for sex in Title VII, rewriting the statutory text and redefining the reality of plaintiff’s sex.

Gender identity theory cements stereotypes in stone rather than eradicating them from the law. It reduces what it means to be male or female to a collection of stereotypes that many people—especially women—have spent many years trying to overcome and that many people reject.

The word “sex” in Title VII is an objective term determined by reproductive anatomy. Sexual orientation is subjectively determined by individual’s preference in sexual partners. Gender identity is subjectively determined by a person’s internal sense of being male or female. These subjective categories represent a radical departure from the text of Title VII and the underpinnings of previous case law.

The Sixth Circuit was wrong when it precluded an interpretation of Title VII that reads “sex” to mean only individuals’ chromosomally driven physiology and reproductive function. That is precisely the definition of “sex” in Title VII and many other laws. The circuit courts attempt to redefine reality and infuse the federal law with meanings that are simply not there.

Laws cannot be enforced or rightly interpreted if word definitions can be shifted at will to mean whatever someone wants them to mean.

Blurring the binary concept of male and female detracts from the fundamental purpose of both Title VII and Price Waterhouse—to ensure that male and female employees have equal employment opportunities.

Male and female are both human beings, but they are not interchangeable in every respect. When the line is blurred, there is no assurance that women will have equal opportunities vis-à-vis men.

Redefining “sex” to mean “gender identity” creates unfair situations for women and girls.

Title VII and other civil rights laws are in place to protect equal opportunities for women; changing “sex” to mean gender identity undermines nearly 50 years of advances for women.

(1)  It undermines equal opportunities for women. Men identifying as female will take women’s places on athletics teams and on the award podium. Just this fall, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association changed its rules regarding participation, so that transgender athletes can now compete according to their gender identity, rather than their biological sex. The Court’s decision in these cases will impact whether female athletes in North Carolina have to continue under this oppressive rule or can return to a fair playing field, where biology determines which team on which boys can compete—not feelings.

(2)  It jeopardizes bodily privacy rights of women by forcing organizations to open women’s shelters, locker rooms, restrooms, and showers to men who say they are women. For example, the Obama Justice Department attempted to force schools and government buildings in North Carolina to allow men who say they are women into women’s bathrooms, showers and locker rooms. Women should be able to expect privacy and safety in such facilities.

Redefining “sex” to mean “gender identity” causes big problems.

(1) It puts employers in unfair situations. Employers must treat men who believe themselves to be women as if they are women, unless those employees don’t “meet the expectations” of what women “typically” look like. This is an impossible standard and forces employers to engage in the very stereotypes the law is supposed to condemn.

(2) It sacrifices freedom of conscience.

(3) It forces doctors to participate in—or employers to pay for—providing hormone blockers or surgical efforts to alter sex in violation of religious beliefs.

(4) It endangers freedom of speech.

(5) It forces business owners, employees, teachers and others to speak in violation of their conscience by compelling them to use pronouns and other sex‐specific terms according to identity rather than biology. For example, in Charlotte and Raleigh , North Carolina, teachers and guidance counselors have been told they must use gender neutral terms such as “students” rather than “he” or “she” and that they must use preferred pronouns for students who identify as the sex other than their biological sex.

So much is riding on the Court’s decision in these cases. This decision will impact public schools, employers, business owners, employees, and churches. We implore the Justices not to re-define what it means to be a woman and a man, but rather to follow the law, common sense, and the order of Creation.”

TAMI FITZGERALD - head shot (red suit)   Tami Fitzgerald

NC VALUES fights tirelessly for North Carolina families and for our North Carolina conservative values, and we owe Tami Fitzgerald and her organization a debt of gratitude. She is always on the front line. If you are looking for a worthwhile and honorable organization to donate to, please consider to donating to NC Values.

 

Reference: https://www.ncvalues.org/tami_fitzgerald_harris_funeral_homes_speech?utm_campaign=20191010_harris_followup&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ncvalues

‘The Boss’ becomes ‘The Bully’! Since Bruce Springsteen is boycotting North Carolina, NC needs to boycott him!

Springsteen - Cancels Show

by Diane Rufino, April 9, 2016

I AM NOW BOYCOTTING BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN! PLEASE JOIN ME!!  

Bruce Springsteen cancelled his upcoming show in Greensboro as a protest against the state’s controversial ‘bathroom’ law – HB2. HB2 provides that public bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers assigned separately for Males and for Females can only be used by those individuals who have the correct biological genitalia. A person’s sex is identified on one’s birth certificate. A person who is truly a transgender – which means “crossing from one gender to another – is one who has made certain commitments to making that cross, including having a medical procedure and hormone treatments. Once these “concrete” steps are taken, the person’s birth certificate is changed and then there is no issue about which bathroom the person can rightfully use (and feel comfortable in, as well as the others who use in). Absent any concrete steps towards changing one’s sex, then we just have a gender confused individual.

I am a Jersey Girl and have always been proud of it. I have always considered myself blessed to be born and raised in a state that values education and success, appreciates culture, and enjoys the unity and pride that great Jersey rockers like Bruce Springsteen and John Bon Jovi foster. For most of my life, I have made it a priority to buy every Springsteen album, update every Springsteen playlist, share his music with my new neighbors (North Carolinians), and attend every one of his NC concerts. That loyalty ends today.

It is one thing to make great music and give a great show. There is an implicit bond made made with fans. Great music and great shows earn loyalty which eventually benefit the musician when he no longer can make great music and put out great albums. Fans let certain things slide. But to let fans down because of a personal grudge and a personal campaign is a material breach of that bond and that loyalty. Fans have gone through far worse in their tolerance of Springsteen and in the distance and inconvenience to attend his shows than he has in his tolerance of North Carolina’s HB2.

To be clear, Springsteen lives in California and NOT in North Carolina. Laws that affect his backyard are made by politicians that he has a voice in electing. He needs to respect the backyard that belongs to the people in North Carolina, as they’ve created through THEIR voice and their duly-elected officials.’

And above all else, he needs to respect the loyalty of his fans. My guess is that a good chunk of his fans, including those who WOULD HAVE attended his Greensboro show, think like him and also are offended by HB2.

Now, I wanted to write a more scathing opinion of Springsteen, the bully, but frankly I am swamped with school work and in preparing lessons for my US Government & Politics class. I work hard to prepare lessons that are objective and are fair to both sides of all issues. That is the very least that my students expect and that is what politics is about… the robust education and discussion/debate on issues that determine what government will do for us and what laws should be passed for the best interests of our communities. Luckily, I found a rant that sums up perfectly how I now feel about Springsteen, and I don’t think its author will object to me sharing it.

From Jerseynut.blogspot.com:

I used to really dig Springsteen. The best I’d ever known in Rock, absolutely the best.

On a beautiful day in Los Angeles at the reservoir, many people were walking. Springsteen came toward me and my girl Rona, a cute and savvy Jewish girl from Brentwood. He was walking with his then wife, I think her name was Julia (?). I remember what they were wearing. Shorts, socks, tennis shoes, t-shirts, zippered hoodies, baseball caps and big sunglasses. Springsteen had that shit eatin’ grin on his face…he finally got a half way decent chick. A feeling only another guy would know and understand.

After we passed each other I really felt the urge to “jack that muther fucker”. Reasons: For sellin’ out his music (only sissyboy chumps sell out there music), and for sellin’ out on the United States of America. Springsteens liberal and negative viewpoints on this country bruised the image of the only true Promised Land. The land of the United States of America. The land and everything that the Pilgrims gave up just to gain so little for their personal selves. Freedom…you can’t hold it in your hands…you can only hold it in your heart…

Springsteen is now just an old piece of shit with money, a past, and disrespect for his wife. When you take a vow and you take a wife, you make a covenant with God. With God and Country, you may not sell out. God is too powerful and country is too cherished. Springsteen for me is now dead…

http://jerseynut.blogspot.com/2010/04/bruce-springsteen-born-to-be-liberal.html

BOYCOTTS GO BOTH WAYS. I HOPE THE GOOD FOLKS OF THE SOUTHERN STATES WILL BOYCOTT SPRINGSTEEN… the man who used to be called “The Boss.” Now he’s just a bully. How he’s just another elitist who uses his celebrity to be a social and political Bully when others don’t think like he does.

Is that Springsteen giving us the finger? (see pic below)

Open Letter to NC Governor Pat McCrory thanking him for his Support and Defense of HB2 (“Public Facilities Privacy & Safety Act”)

Pat McCrory

by Diane Rufino

Governor Pat McCrory
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301

Dear Governor McCrory,

I am writing with a heartfelt THANK YOU for standing for common sense, standing for the constitutional protections of privacy, and perhaps most of all, for standing with conviction and exemplifying the courage one rarely sees in a politician these days. I am, of course, referring to your readiness and willingness to address the bathroom ordinance passed by the Charlotte legislature and pass HB2.

I know you and the entire state of North Carolina is coming under attack from the liberals for your stance in this matter. I know that the mayor of San Francisco, Edwin Lee, has banned flights for city employees from SF to North Carolina in protest, as did the mayors of NYC and Seattle. I know that New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has also banned non-essential flights to North Carolina for state employees in protest over the bill. And Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy have done the same. I know that director Rob Reiner has called for a boycott among filmmakers not to film in our state until HB2 is repealed. Wow, the wave of intolerance is strong. But waves that crash on rock do no damage and cause no erosion.

The point is that none of these individuals live in our state and how dare they try to engage in coercion to change our laws and policies. Decisions that affect the day-to-day conditions of our lives here in our own state should rightfully be made by us who live here, and by our representatives. And other states ought to respect those decisions. It’s one of the hallmarks of a federation of sovereign states. Let’s not forget that in 1973, when California legalized marijuana, North Carolina didn’t issue any boycotts in protest. In fact, there were no boycotts at all issued by states who did not agree with California’s decision. North Carolina and other states respected California’s right. And recently when California enacted an extreme gun control law, again North Carolina stood silent. North Carolina, a state that has a deep respect and affection for our Bill of Rights and especially for the big daddy of them all, the second amendment, could have easily acted in protest.

I know that our state Attorney General, Roy Cooper, an avowed liberal who believes strongly in gay marriage, not only refused to enforce the state constitutional amendment that passed overwhelmingly in our state defining marriage as between a man and a woman but now refuses to enforce HB2. He has publicly called our state an “embarrassment.” The truth is that HE, a man elected as Attorney General to defend the laws of the state who has not done so, taking an oath to perform the duties of that office yet violating it over and over again, taking a paycheck while he has essentially done nothing in performance of the duties of his office, and then turning his back on the great majority of the North Carolinians is the real definition of an embarrassment. Roy Cooper is an embarrassment to the state and to the government of this state. Why is this man still in office and why does he continue to collect a paycheck? Where are the articles of impeachment to remove him and give us a vacant office (pretty much what it is with him IN IT). The people of the state are entitled to a public servant that carries out his or her function. Governor McCrory, you were right when you said that Mr. Roy Cooper was elected to do a job and that “he is an attorney first and a politician second.”

Hypocritically, Cooper and his kind want to force OTHER officials into doing their job – such as issue marriage licenses to homosexuals, despite political and religious differences – but as for themselves, they believe they can refuse to carry out their elected responsibilities for the same reasons.

The bottom line is that the people expect their laws to be defended and someone will need to take this one on, with all the energy, sincerity, legal know-how, and passion that it takes.

We face an uphill battle in trying to remain a normal state with normal, natural-law values and trying to fight off the degenerate policies of liberals and progressives (and the LGBT community) who would love to see the entire country become like the biblical dens of iniquity, Sodom and Gomorrah. Biological confusion, biological rejection, massive sexual experimentation, and the unfettered personal freedom to live life as one sees fit without regard to boundaries, natural or social…. These are the goals of the progressives and liberals. By-products of such lifestyles are just collateral damage that we must all live with. But certain things are worth fighting for because the society that results is the one that will prove most successful.

The condemnation and the protests….. these will pass. If we don’t start standing up issue by issue, then North Carolina becomes no better than places like San Francisco and New York City, and neither place provides the safety and comfort needed to encourage and embrace family values and all the wonderful things that come with the proper focus on the family. Governor McCrory, you are doing a wonderful job in sticking up for HB2 and explaining it truthfully and fairly. Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest is also doing an outstanding job defending it.

You mentioned that other states and some politicians are calling our state an embarrassment. I contend that when such states and when such politicians attack our policies, then we should be consoled in the fact that we are doing the right thing. North Carolina is NOT California. North Carolina is NOT New York. North Carolina is NOT Vermont. North Carolina is NOT Washington. North Carolinians have different values than San Franciscans. North Carolinians have different values than New Yorkers. There are communities of people all across this country defined by the values they embrace and wish to live by. And they are entitled to live by, as long as they don’t discriminate in violation of the long-settled principles solidified in our Constitution. How have we as a body of people been allowed to tolerate bathroom facilities separating on account of biological gender differences all these great many years? Clearly there have been no constitutional violations. A one-size-fits-all society is not what we want in this country. We want differences so that people, as diverse as we are, can find the place – using our constitutionally protected ability to be mobile – that allows us to live as faithfully and as comfortably with respect to our values. People forced to live in a changing environment where they must hide their values, apologize for them, be ashamed of them, and worse, live in contradiction to them are people ripe for discontent and hatred. A state that respects the values embraced by nature, that stands up for the values that promote wholesome family and gender values, a state respects the voice of the majority of its people (so that the minority cannot force their demands on others who are not ready for them), that refuses to engage in the type of cultural transformation of places like San Francisco and others that put individuality and selfishness before proper guidelines, embedded in natural law, for the good of society and its bedrock foundation, and that does not back down from the bullies of this country…… is NOT an embarrassment. It is an example.

As an attorney, I agree with your assessment of HB2. It is a common-sense bill that invokes no constitutional protection for the groups that are attacking it. The bill protects men, women, and children when they use restrooms, lockers, and showers. Individuals have a basic expectation of privacy in these areas. In fact, I would argue that there is a heightened expectation of privacy in these areas. Individuals have a right not to feel uncomfortable, traumatized, nervous, or scared when they enter a bathroom for biological purposes. They have a right to feel protected when they shed their clothing in locker rooms and in shower areas. The bill protects the elderly and the young who are most vulnerable to intimidation and fear. They are the ones who most assuredly need protection. Governor, you are correct when you say that this right must be protected and secured. If the very governing body of a state cannot protect a child or a grandmother in an area traditionally set aside for only members of society biologically identical to them, sharing similar concerns, functions, and risks, then that governing body should dissolve in favor of one that is able to protect its citizens.

A doctor who operates on a male (regardless of his “identification”) will need certain operating implements and gadgets to do the job. Just because that person may “identify” as another gender does not somehow change the reality that physically there are differences that require separate attention.

HB2 requires that requires that public bathrooms or changing facilities (locker rooms and/or showers) to be designated for and only those persons based on their biological sex; that is, the sex identified on their birth certificate. This bill only reasserts the status quo. It makes sure that the current situation – the one that has existed for over one hundred years – continues to remain as such. Without this bill and having the possibility of other cities and towns adopting the radical plan put forth by the Charlotte legislature, would expose the overwhelming majority of people to traumatization in an area that they should feel most comfortable.

Last year started a movement to demonize the Confederate flag and in fact, all symbols and names that are associated with the antebellum South and the Civil War. [I’m referring to the movement that was independent of the flag’s removal from the state capitol in SC]. All of a sudden, the flag and all such symbols, monuments, historical figures, street names, etc were deemed to only have ONE meaning, and that meaning was one of hatred. I watched and read time after time as a mayor or town official, or college student, or African-American citizen cried “trauma” and “discomfort” at having to lay his or her eyes on the flag, a monument, a street sign, a building name, etc etc. I imagined them convulsing, vomiting, and having to be hospitalized with live-giving fluids delivered to their failing veins. But no, they were healthy as can be. They were just exercising a misguided freedom to personally feel shielded from a message they didn’t care to see. Now, most of these individuals, of course (and clearly) have no clue about history. But governing body after governing body gave in. The right of one person not to be traumatized was treated as paramount to the overwhelming majority of people to embrace or be reminded of the history of our country.

I see this as an analogy, to some degree. We must respect the right of biologically-oriented people NOT to feel traumatized when they use a public restroom, locker room, or shower. This is simply common sense. Imagine the trauma and confusion that a young child will suffer? A young girl is taught not to talk to a stranger that is of a different sex. A young girl is taught that there are differences between herself and someone like her daddy. We teach our children about the proper roles they are to assume in the school system (because, after all, a boy who dares put his arm around a girl simply to show affection can be sent home with a charge of assault) and the role that gender plays in society and in rightful expectations. What about the parent who is trying to teach her child about biology and nature and the natural order of life? How can a child reconcile what she NEEDS to learn (for her safety and protection) with what she might confront in a public bathroom? What about the trauma a grandmother will feel? The fear as well?

There are reports all over the internet of assaults, rapes, videoing, and uncomfortable situations when men “pretending” to be gender-confused go into a women’s bathroom. All one needs to do is simply research them. It is far too easy for a male to pretend to be gender-confused to gain entry into a woman’s bathroom in order to do something that is less than legitimate or legal. He can film what he sees (and there are very secret ways to do that) or he can force himself on unsuspecting females. He can also rob them because they have let their guard down or because they are temporarily away from their purse, their mace, and their purchases. [Jay Delancy of the Voter Integrity Project, has posted several of these incidents, for example]. The only conceivable scenario where a male should be allowed to enter a women’s restroom, locker room, and shower is when he has been surgically altered and is on hormone therapy to officially change his gender. That is the only REAL way to “identify” as a woman. That would provide the only reasonable confidence to show that the person identifies as a woman and that the associated intent is there.

Finally, should bathrooms become open to individuals of a different biological identity, I believe patrons will not want to use the restroom lest they be made to feel uncomfortable. I have been in a public bathroom in a mall that was marked “Ladies” and watched as a male emerged from one of the stalls. There was nothing about the individual to comfort the women and teen girls in the bathroom that he/she was “identifying” as a female. All we knew was that he was a male, looked like a male, was zipping up his pants as he walked out of the stall, and he was in the women’s room. It was unsettling and my daughters and I immediately left. We felt uncomfortable and uneasy. We should have never been put in that situation. We opted to leave the mall and go somewhere else to get a bite to eat so that we could eventually take care of nature (take care of business) in a more private setting. I believe patrons will wait to go home to use the restroom and they will use the food court areas less frequently so as not to have to use the restrooms. Hence, their time in malls, etc will be shortened. Eventually, with policies as the LGBT desire and as the progressives and liberals who support the Charlotte initiative desire, people will begin retreating into their own homes or the homes and meeting places of people they feel comfortable with and reverse discrimination will tacitly result. Such policies will have a disparate impact on those who believe in a rightful expectation of privacy and who believe that nature, after all, is the immutable basis for life.

In addition to the provisions related to public/education bathroom, locker, and shower facilities, I want to thank you for the provisions added to the bill which protect business owners/government sub-contractors from the coercion of local laws which they ordinarily would not have to be subject to. The pre-emption provisions – pre-emption from – the pre-emption of local laws that expand the categories of non-discrimination to “sexual orientation” – are the icing on the wonderful cake that is HB2. I truly believe you showed your commitment and respect to the business community by: (1) recognizing and emphasizing that HB2 does not affect them and they are free to handle the bathroom situation as they see fit; and (2) making sure they are not subject to local laws that force them to participate in speech with which they do not believe (which underscores the rights recognized in the First Amendment – speech, religion, conscience). The guarantees protected under the First Amendment are firmly-rooted in our history and in our collective conscious and government law (including state) must not force businesses, small or large, or sole proprietors to participate in events or promote an agenda which violate their deeply-held beliefs and their collective conscience. Such a law is a dangerous violation of the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion and they certainly threaten businesses just as acutely as issues such as discrimination and the failure to provide bathroom accessibility to transgenders. Even more telling is what such a law says about our treasured freedoms. It sends a message to the world that we aren’t the nation that we claim to be. Hypocrisy may work for others but it shouldn’t be an accusation that attaches to the state of North Carolina.

Thank you again in joining with the NC General Assembly and standing together in a courageous moment of clarity and allegiance to the good people of the state and signing HB2 into law. This mother, parent, attorney, school teacher, and someday soon – grandmother wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and respect. Please, please, please continue to stand firm in the wake of the growing opposition and demonization of our state with respect to HB2.

Most Sincerely,

References:
Language of Bill — http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015E2/Bills/House/PDF/H2v1.pdf (“Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act”)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjyHBZTkGZA (In this video, Governor Pat McCrory explains and supports HB2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvOjfj82ymE (In  his video, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest clarifies the mistruths about HB2 to the commentators on CNBC.  He then expresses his support and defends why the bill needed to be passed)