Over the past few weeks, there has been a massive uproar over HB2 in North Carolina. The “bathroom bill” prevents anyone (specifically city governments) from forcing private businesses to allow a man into a woman’s restroom, or vice versa. Obviously, this law defines men and women in the biological sense, which places restrictions on transgender individuals at a given business’s discretion.
Mega-corporations and LGBT groups see this law as discrimination. However, this law actually protects individuals from assault and businesses from negligence lawsuits. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Why was this law passed?
This law was a response to the City of Charlotte, which passed a municipal ordinance requiring businesses to allow men to use women’s restrooms, locker rooms, etc., and vice versa, based on a person’s gender identity rather than biological sex.
2. How does this law affect parents/guardians/caregivers?
These individuals still have the ability to take their child into a restroom under this law.
3. How does this law affect individual business who want to accommodate trans individuals?
This law leaves restroom regulations up to individual business owners. Private businesses may still allow trans individuals to use the facility that corresponds with their gender identities if they choose, but no government or municipal regulation may force them to do so.
4. Why is it important for businesses to be able to choose?
This law is not intended to give business owners a free pass to discriminate. However, business owners are responsible for things that happen in their establishments. If someone slips and falls, for example, the business can be sued.
This also applies to crimes occurring on the premises. In addition to the emotional toll that comes with knowing a sexual assault occurred on the premises, the business owner might face a lawsuit if he or she failed to safeguard patrons. According to the National Research Center for Domestic Violence, victims of sexual assault can bring tort actions against third parties whose negligence contributes to an assault, including businesses.
Bottom line: This law has nothing to do with discrimination.
Obviously, we don’t want grown men using the same locker room as a young girl, in the sense that this man is heterosexual. But since there is no such thing as a “card-carrying” transgender person (and there shouldn’t be, because sexuality is a private issue), we have to take someone’s word for it. Unfortunately, this means that for every honest-to-goodness transgender person trying to use a facility that aligns with the gender they identify with, there could be a predator posing as transgender as a means of gaining access to victims.
The safety of the public, in this case, must be protected. And that’s exactly what the “bathroom bill” does.
For a full fact-check, click here.