Tuesday, May 17, 2016

North Carolina's New "Bathroom Law"

North Carolina's new "Bathroom Law", passed in a hurry, blocks cities and local governments from passing antidiscrimination measures that could protect gay and transgender people.  In late February, Charlotte NC passed an ordinance expanding state antidiscrimination laws so that LGBT people would also be granted protection in places of "public accommodation".  The new state law repealed that ordinance, saying no city or local government could amend or expand state law.  It also bans cities and local governments from increasing the minimum wage beyond the state minimum wage.

Now, most conservatives are upset with the federal sex-same marriage law because they consider it "overreach" by higher government.  They say the definition of marriage should be left to state and local governments.  Yet, they don't see North Carolina's state law as overreaching and nullifying city and local government laws.  This seems like hypocrisy at first, until you realize that state Republicans' purpose was not to reserve their own political power, but rather just to hurt LGBT people. 
The new law solves no problem.  There was never a problem with transgender people using the bathroom designed for the sex they identify as.  No one has been raped in a women's rest room by a transgender person who identifies as a woman.  No one's little girl ever shared a bathroom with a "grown adult man" who would like to molest a little girl.
On the other hand, plenty of little boys have been molested in men's bathrooms by "grown adult men" who like to molest little boys.  The law does nothing to stop that.  But that's beside the point.
I think the bottom line is this.  Most North Carolina Republicans think of themselves as Christians, and therefore think that homosexuality is a sin.  And that's fine.  They are perfectly free to think that.  But not all Christians think that.  And for that matter, more than a quarter of Americans are not even Christians.  I'm one of those followers of Jesus that thinks if we're going to ignore the Levitical laws against eating shrimp (Leviticus 11.9-12) or wearing a shirt made of a cotton-polyester blend (Leviticus 19.19), then we can ignore the Levitical law that says a man lying with a man is an abomination (Leviticus 18.22).
The Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin are believing the Bible, but they have no right to punish people who don't believe that way.  In fact, the same Bible that these Christians believe to be the inerrant Word of God says, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" (Romans 12.19).  Romans is one of the books that really makes a big point about homosexuality being worthy of death.  But humans need to keep their hands off each other because "vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord".