City Council certainly comes in for its share of criticism, but if Council never showed up for work it could not match the ineptitude of North Carolina legislators.
Readers may recall that a while back, North Carolina enacted HB2, a law barring transgender citizens from using public restrooms that did not match the gender on their birth certificates. Now, with Torquemada Republicans controlling all three branches of our federal government, some fear a similar bull could one day be nailed to our Plaza restroom doors. Hopefully, a brief history will alleviate any concern.
Apparently – or so North Carolina legislators believed – permitting transgender people to use restrooms that didn’t match the “sex” block checked on their birth certificate would allow rapists and kindred spirits to enter public restrooms and have their way with so-called ‘normal’ people, literally catching them with their pants down. That this was not already a raging public restroom concern was beside the point.
Alas, legislators forgot the First Rule of Politics: Money. Soon the NCAA, major corporations and other business interests announced they would boycott the state if it banned transgender people from ‘going’ where they wanted.
Minds were changed. Sort of. To avoid economic Armageddon, HB2 was Repealed and Replaced with a law banning local governments from passing laws allowing transgender people to ‘go’ where they want. (It’s OK to re-read that, if only as a sanity check.)
Transgender folks using restrooms where they feel comfortable hardly seems a menace to public safety or morals, assuming anything passes for either in the Age of the P*ssy-Grabbing President. Still, some blanch at the thought of being in a men’s (women’s) restroom with people who look like they belong but who might sit down (stand up) to pee.
“Why” is best left between the discomfited and their pastors, who can assuage any spiritual anxiety that might arise should a man (by all appearances) sidle up to an adjacent urinal and, well . . . manage things differently.
Neither anatomical nor engineering considerations require separate restrooms for different sexes; indeed, every day – somewhere — a wife adjusting herself in the family loo is interrupted by an oafish husband barging in for a whiz or worse.
For North Carolina Republicans, however, transgender sensibilities were not something valid and deserving of respect but rather the bottom of a Slippery Slope that started innocently enough with the advent of single-occupancy public restrooms, marked with male/female silhouettes permitting use by either gender. Equipped with locks, they typically provide safety and thwart surprise. No law bars consenting adults of any variety from using the facility together –- as the coquettish couple silhouetted on the door might suggest.
By now, readers may be thinking: “Who Cares?!” (or, “Who writes this stuff?”) After all, public restrooms all have privacy stalls, which are nothing more than indoor Porta-Potties. Only at men’s room urinal banks can one legally relieve oneself ‘in public;’ History records no man ever terrified that a woman might expose herself there.
In repealing it, perhaps North Carolina realized HB2 would expose citizens to the very perversions it professed to prevent. Namely, enforcement would require I.C.E.-like monitors at all public restrooms, checking intimate anatomies of adults and children against the birth certificates, which they would also have to flash in order to gain admittance. And who, exactly, could be trusted to properly vet thousands of would-be monitors to screen out the leering gropers and perverts?
Certainly not our President.