It's all fun and bigotry until someone loses a job
HB2, is an anti-LGBT law has been passed around America lately like a hot potato. Most recently the bill has been passed in Alabama and North Carolina. The latter stands out the most because it was the first state to actually sign the bill. Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill in less than 24 hours after it was introduced.
A lot of people don’t seem to know what the bill entails. The bill seems to specifically target the use of public bathrooms, but it’s about more than that. Since North Carolina is an at will employment state, this new law can open the door for discrimination in the work place towards transgender and LGBT individuals.
The law doesn’t just affect adults the way most people believe it does, it affects school age children as well. North Carolina now requires students to use bathrooms according to the gender they are assigned to on their birth certificates. Young transgender activist like Jazz Jennings has been publicly speaking out about these bills, but it is not enough.
Though this law has been passed and backed by politicians in Alabama and North Carolina, there has been major backlash from politicians and the corporate world. Companies have been pulling out of North Carolina left and right.
Companies and organizations such as PayPal recently announced that they would be withdrawing an expansion in North Carolina that would have employed over 400 people. Lionsgate Films and the A & E television network announced that they would no longer filming in the state. Bill De Blasio banned state funded travel to North Carolina.
Target has bravely decided to play by their own rules rather than blindly follow the HB2 law. On April 19th the company issued a statement saying that transgender men and women could use its bathrooms and fitting rooms as they saw fit.
So far they happen to be the first major retailer to take this stand. In return they have received backlash, from target customers. A petition was started by the American family Association. The petition called for the boycott of target stores. It has gained the signatures of over 1 million people so far, and has been attracting media attention.
The corporate world hasn’t been alone in this boycott. Musicians and entertainers alike have taken a stand as well. Bruce Springsteen recently dropped out of a performance there by stating that his choice was an effort to support “fight against prejudice and bigotry.” The band Pearl Jam also took a stand and boycotting the state. Eddie Vedder delivered a powerful speech at the band show in Hampton, Virginia. He stated that:
“We had to make a real tough call about what we would do about the situation in North Carolina. Because they have a law there that broadly discriminates against a whole group of people. And I can’t tell from here if you are booing North Carolina, if you’re booing us for having to decide that we are not going to play there. I would understand that too.”
Film maker Michael Moore also recently took to twitter to say that, “I have asked my distributor NOT to book my film in any theater in North Carolina due 2 their bigoted law against LGBTQ ppl. They have agreed.”
With all of the recent boycotting you have to wonder how North Carolina’s economy will fare in the long run, because trust me there will be a long run. With Governor McCrory and senators like Buck Newton standing firmly behind the law. (Buck Newton recently addressed a crowd who supported the law at a rally by saying “let’s keep our state straight) Amid the growing protest in the state. Small business owners have expressed their concern over losing business and the unfairness of the strain this law puts on them.
I personally don’t know if people realize the monumental effect that this law will have on the state, and I am very interested in seeing how this all plays out. I have only listed a few companies that have openly boycotted the law but more than 200 companies and organizations have voiced their opposition to the law. At this point it’s up to the powers in North Carolina to do something before this gets out of hand