The Real Deal: A rude reminder from North Carolina

North Carolina just reminded the rest of the country that despite the Supreme Court Ruling last summer, the fight for equality for the LGBT+ community is far from over. The North Carolina legislature just passed a bill that requires transgender Americans to use public restrooms that identify with the gender on their birth certificate, not the gender they identify as. Not only that, but they made it illegal for cities to protect the rights of LGBT+ citizens, effectively legalizing discrimination based on sexual orientation. Not only is this a morally corrupt ploy to try and make life even harder for LGBT+ North Carolinians, it is also a massive waste of time and resources for the state of North Carolina.

Why all of the sudden has this issue been brought to the forefront in North Carolina? The North Carolina legislature responded to the actions of the city of Charlotte, which voted to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. The North Carolina legislature was not meant to reconvene until late April, but it decided to hold a special session so it could react before the Charlotte ordinance took effect on April 1. This was the first special session the North Carolina legislature has held in 35 years. Over the course of 12 hours the state legislature proposed and passed the bill, and the governor signed it into law.

Let’s break down how much conservatives in North Carolina had to back pedal on their own ideology in order to pass this measure. Firstly, conservatives flaunt how they support local government and self-rule. Yet when a city tries to exercise its authority, they pass a law that takes away power from the cities. Keep in mind Michigan Republicans reacted the same way when cities started granting protections to the LGBT+ community. The law also bans cities from establishing their own minimum wages, effectively taking away the ability of a city to influence its own economy. Republicans don’t seem to really support local government; they only seem to support consolidating power around whatever level of government they control.

Republicans also flaunt about how they support the rights of the people. This makes the action in North Carolina extremely hypocritical. The city of Charlotte was expanding the rights of its people, and Republicans ripped a right away from those people. Republicans only seem to support the rights of the people when it is convenient, picking and choosing what rights people are allowed to have. Republicans are unwilling to allow gun safety reform because it may infringe on the right to bear arms, however they are totally alright with taking away basic human rights.

Republicans also wasted a great deal of money on passing this law. The ACLU calculated that they spent roughly $42,000 on passing the law in one day. This is $42,000 wasted on making it legal to discriminate. Not so fiscally conservative of Republicans to do.

This law is a huge waste of time for the people of North Carolina. Legislators could have been debating how to protect North Carolinas environment, or how to decrease the wage gap between men and women, or how to decrease income inequality. But instead they decide to spend taxpayer time and money to take away the rights of North Carolinians. Republicans need to become more concerned with actual issues facing their constituents, and not political stunts like this that are only meant to hurt them.