Wednesday, June 08, 2016

North Carolina

North Carolina is, unsurprisingly, north of South Carolina. The US state is on the east coast, kind of mid point between New York State and Florida. Geographically it is probably considered a southern state, it has a long coastal border and one would think it should be quite a civilised place. Not so if you are a gay person.

Here is a snip from The Guardian about some new legislation passed in NC,
The new law allows local governments to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. And all public schools, government agencies and public college campuses will be required to designate that bathrooms and locker rooms are only to be used by people based on their biological sex. The state’s anti-discrimination laws still apply to people based on race, color, national origin and gender. Effectively, the legislation takes away the right of gay and transgender people to sue for discrimination.

Here is a snip from the BBC,
The US Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against North Carolina over its controversial anti-LGBT law, calling it "state-sponsored discrimination".
The law requires people to use public toilets that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificate.
It also invalidated several local anti-discrimination measures that protected gay and transgender people.
North Carolina announced on Monday it would sue the Justice Department over its attempt to nullify the law.
"What this law does is inflict further indignity on a population that has suffered far more than its fair share," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said of transgender people. "We see you, we stand with you, and we will do everything we can to protect you."
The law puts North Carolina in direct conflict with federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity, said Ms Lynch.
"State-sanctioned discrimination never works and never looks good in hindsight."
The justice department is seeking a court order declaring the legislation, House Bill 2, "impermissibly discriminatory".

Mississippi is not much better, again a snip from the BBC.
This week, Mississippi passed a religious freedom law. That measure, however, specifically allows people to refuse service to gay people on religious grounds.

This NC state legislation will be partly over ridden by Federal legislation in some areas but nevertheless it has created a huge backlash.

Indiana tried to enact similar discriminatory laws but quickly backed down after a backlash by business. Georgia's Governor refused to sign such legislation after threats by Coco Cola and Disney.

Back to North Carolina, the Governor who signed the discriminatory legislation  is now backing down somewhat. Why?

Here are the reasons:

Pay Pal dropped plans to open an operations centre in the state that would have employed about 400 people.

Deutsche Bank stopped plans to add 250 jobs to the state.

Rock singer Bruce Springsteen cancelled a concert in Greensboro

A TV production for the streaming service Hulu relocated to Canada
Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau said five groups have cancelled conventions with 16 others considering

Bank of America and Apple are boycotting the legislation and going their own way with positive practices in their businesses.

Beyonce made statements calling for equality at their shows in the state.

Musicians such as Demi Lovato, Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr and Boston have cancelled shows in the state, as has Cirque de Soleil.

American sport leagues such as the NCAA and NBA have threatened to cancel events in the state if the law is not repealed.

North Carolina really is on the back foot and so is the religious right. In my memory, boycotts have been quite successful, such as the boycott of Tasmanian fresh produce my mainland Australia over the state not legalising  homosexual sex, the sporting boycotts of New Zealand and South Africa over indigenous rights and apartheid.

But we can hardly be so critical of US states when here in Australia it is quite legal for religious organisations to discriminate against gay people, and given some of the religious organisations  run job agencies that the unemployed are forced to use, that is just so wrong. 

22 comments:

  1. Sad though that it is money that does the talking.

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    1. Marie, it is sad. It is basic human rights, really.

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  2. Nearly 10 a.m. and I've deleted 4 vicious comments for this post. It's going to be a bad day.

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    1. Jah Teh, thank you for not swearing on my blog.

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  3. It seems that the boycott trail is the one to take, government backs down fast enough when it sees the money disappearing via cancelled contracts etc.
    I really do think this is one issue that governments, and religions, should never have got involved in.

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    1. River, it does seem to be so, and not surprising. Government had to be involved to change legislation to stop discrimination against gay people. The religions did not and should have been ignored.

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  4. I am beyond angry. Both at these laws and at our own.

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    1. EC, our own country's discrimination came to me as an afterthought as I was writing. Here I am criticising a US state, when things are not right here.

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  5. Money plays a vital role in all of the life...

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    1. Yes, WW. Indeed it does and it talks.

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  6. It is really strange law

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    1. Yes Gosia, but things are not so good for gay people in Poland either.

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  7. Oh dear me. Money talks mostly which is unfortunate.

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    1. Yes Margaret, it certainly does and it would be nice if it didn't take talking money to make changes.

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  8. parts of the US are very backward. bravo to all performers who cancelled concerts in protest. The Carolinas have an appalling record of pollies doing filthy stupid things like being sprung in Argentina with mistresses - 'https://books.google.com.au/books?isbn=1623562228
    Alison Dagnes, ‎Mark Sachleben - 2013 - ‎Political Science
    An analysis of media coverage of sex scandals involving politicians, including North Carolina senator John Edwards, South Carolina governor Mark Sanford'

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    1. Annie, doesn't this sort of thing always come loaded with hypocrisy.

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  9. We have lots of backwards people who don't think here and think they're way better than everyone else, for various, often religious, reasons that i cannot comprehend fully.

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    1. Strayer, it is odd how religion and human rights don't always mix very well.

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  10. There are lots of crazy people in the world but whats scary is some of them are in power and making the rules.
    Merle..........

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    1. Merle, we hope that won't include Trumpet in power in the US.

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  11. Yup, thank you, McCrory. Sigh. Like we don't have enough economic issues without losing more jobs in the state because of backward thinking.

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    1. Sandra, I rather guessed that you lived in NC. I won't hold it against you and there is nothing like reading blogs of nice people in the world to break down stereotypes.

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