House Bill 2 is a ‘must-read’

Published 9:51 am Tuesday, April 5, 2016

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I guess the same can be said on interpretation of the law.

Concerning the numerous emails I’ve received over the past week or so from groups and organizations expressing anger and/or frustration over the passage of House Bill 2, they made me stop and wonder just how many took the time to actually read each and every word of that newly adopted legislation?

Those emails blast the North Carolina General Assembly’s overwhelming decision to create legislation that protects the safety and well-being of women and children using a public restroom. Yes, you read that correctly….there are people that believe it’s perfectly okay for a man to enter a female restroom/locker room/changing room and use that facility while grown women and/or young girls are within the confines of the same exact area for the purpose of….to put it nicely….expelling bodily fluids/waste and/or changing their clothing.

In defense of those who believe that’s acceptable, they are speaking of men that physiologically identify as female. Those individuals are known as transgender, and they can include women who identify as men. Whichever the case, a transgender still possesses the body parts they were born with. Their birth certificate still identifies them as either M (Male) or F (Female). There is no such thing as a TG (Transgender) listing on a legal birth certificate.

The General Assembly waded into this issue of not permitting men to use a women’s restroom on the heels of a decision by the Charlotte City Council who recently voted to allow transgenders to use the restroom of their choice.

While that decision was perhaps a noble gesture in the name of diversity, it did create a problem of a much grander scale. What would prevent a man who doesn’t identify as a transgender from entering a women’s restroom with something on his mind other than expelling bodily fluids? What would prevent a criminal, a pervert or a pedofile from harming, physically or sexually, a woman or child? There are already too many documented cases of those types of crimes; it’s insane to create a local ordinance that would legally open a door for that to happen.

The NC General Assembly, as I hope the majority of the general public, understands that the Charlotte ordinance, if left to stand, jeopardizes safety. Therefore, the General Assembly approved House Bill 2, otherwise known as the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.

I’ve read the five pages of that legislation over and over, trying to find wording that leads those in opposition to think it’s a bad law. In a nutshell, House Bill 2 establishes that single-sex multiple occupancy bathrooms and changing

facilities can only be used by those of the same biological sex – male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.

Those affected by this legislation include local boards of education (and the schools they oversee); the state’s Executive Branch agency, all agencies, boards, offices, and departments under the direction and control of a member of the Council of State, including The University of North Carolina System and the North Carolina Community College System; the state’s Judicial Branch; the state’s Legislative Branch; any other political subdivision of the State; and any Public Authority (Municipal or County government).

As far as helping those in need, the new law reads, “Nothing in this section shall prohibit public agencies from providing accommodations such as single occupancy bathroom or changing facilities upon a person’s request due to special circumstances.”

The designation of multiple or single occupancy bathrooms or changing facilities according to biological sex as now defined in the General Statutes, “shall not be deemed to constitute discrimination.” What that part of the new law means….and I think this is where most that have not read it become confused… is a person cannot file civil action, say if a transgender person is denied access to the bathroom of their choice within a public setting as described in this new legislation.

I do not believe this law was written to discriminate against any one person…it’s simply following the etiquette we were taught long ago: there are separate rooms for males and females to use for certain private acts and we are not to invade that privacy. Over the course of my life I’ve seen the horrors of discrimination against certain members of society. Telling a man he cannot enter a women’s restroom cannot be defined as discrimination because he already has such a facility designated specifically for use by those of his gender.

The emails I’ve received from those opposing House Bill 2 all think the new law affords state government and private business the opportunity to fire a member of the LBGT community because of their chosen lifestyle, and they can do so without legal repercussion. All I can say to that is please read the bill and show me where that is stated.

Personally, I’m not appalled by this legislation, but rather over the fact that a special session of the General Assembly had to be convened to put into words what is already common sense.


Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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