As is explained in this morning’s Must Read over on the main Policy Watch site, yesterday’s federal Court of Appeals ruling in favor of a transgender Virginia high schooler is helping to expedite the growing national debate over LGBT rights and the fate of North Carolina’s almost month-old discrimination law known as House Bill 2.
As the lawyers representing Gavin Grimm (the Virginia kid who brought suit seeking access to the bathroom that corresponds with his gender identity) and those suing North Carolina over HB 2 explain, the ruling serves as “a beacon of hope in the face of increasingly hostile rhetoric against transgender people…across the nation,” and “makes plain that North Carolina’s House Bill 2 violates Title IX by discriminating against transgender students and forcing them to use the wrong restroom at school.”
And here’s what else the decision has done: it has once again forced the blustering opponents of LGBT equality to forget their scripted lines about “bathroom predators” and admit their true objective: to deny the existence of transgender people altogether.
Read what North Carolina’s Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said yesterday in his official response to the Virginia court ruling:
“People need to wake up: Roy Cooper, Barack Obama, two unelected federal judges and the liberal media are on the verge of completing their radical social reengineering of our society by forcing middle school-aged girls to share school locker rooms with boys.”
Did you catch that? According to the man who is arguably the most powerful politician in North Carolina, transgender human beings don’t exist; they are merely people of one gender pretending to be people of the other. It is a remarkably mean-spirited and ignorant assertion by a supposedly educated and informed man.
As was noted in this space last week, there’s never really been much doubt that fulminating preachers like Greensboro’s Ron Baity and Raleigh’s Patrick Wooden held such offensive and extreme views. Spreading fear, hatred and social division is what these charlatans are all about after all.
But when North Carolina’s most powerful politician — a man who at one point in his career in politics was a fairly reasonable guy — sinks to such levels and expresses such uninformed, spiteful and just plain mean views, it is a dark and embarrassing day for our state.
The only silver lining in all this is that at least North Carolinians should all now know where things really stand. The debate over HB 2 is not a fight about “bathroom safety”; it is a fight over whether LGBT North Carolinians (especially “T” North Carolinians) even exist and will be recognized as human beings by their government. At some point, proponents of love and inclusion will win the day, but it’s going to be a long, tough and, at times, unpleasant slog.