Not that anyone is surprised by the development, but it seems worth clarifying as we come to the close of another work week in North Carolina’s new and dark HB2 era, that the most prominent supporters of the discrimination law have revealed their true colors in recent days. Having long mouthed the manufactured and embarrassingly absurd talking point that HB2 is somehow about “bathroom safety,” the folks over on the far right came out and admitted this week that what they and their law are really about is keeping LGBT people down.
First came the Monday rally in Raleigh at which two of North Carolina’s most active and loudmouthed homophobes, Rev. Ron Baity and Rev. Patrick Wooden were allowed to share the stage. As Chris Fitzsimon pointed out on Tuesday:
“…Wooden has referred to being gay as a ‘death style’ that ’causes a breakdown of the human body’ and that it is normal to react violently to gay people.
He also famously predicted that marriage equality would lead both to men marrying goats and a pedophile problem and that transgender male Chastity Bono was acting under the influence of the devil and demon spirits of perversion.
And Wooden wasn’t even the most outrageous speaker at the rally. That dishonor would have to go to Ron Baity from the Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and the head of a group called Return America. Baity has compared gay people to maggots and murderers and endorsed their prosecution.
His group’s website says LGBT people behave like perverts.”
A year and a half ago, Baity has also blamed the Ebola disease on the legalization of same-sex marriage and claimed that it was just one of many plagues God would bring to the United States as punishment for promoting LGBT rights.
And lest anyone have any doubts that the leaders of the HB2 crusade are in sync with Baity and Wooden, these were dispelled this week as well when the North Carolina Values Coalition condemned Gov. McCrory’s minuscule concession on the issue of LGBT discrimination in state government employment. According to Fitzgerald, even such modest anti-discrimination policies “threaten the First Amendment freedoms of state employees.”
Did you catch that? In the muddled and disturbed worldview of Fitzgerald, Baity and Wooden, firing people because they are LGBT is a precious First Amendment freedom. What more does one need to know before concluding that the HB2 architects are hopelessly out of touch with reality and no more capable of sane dialogue on the issue than were their ideological heirs in the pro-segregation movement of the 20th century?
Surely it is this overriding reality that is ultimately driving the powerful forces throughout the country who are leading the growing boycott against North Carolina. Simply put, the men and women running various corporations and other institutions around the United States are looking at the leaders of our state and who they are listening to and concluding that they cannot in good conscience be associated with such hatred and ignorance. As long as McCrory, Berger et al. fail to grasp this reality, they’re going to remain behind the political eight ball.