The LGBT rights movement had a major win when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the United States, but since then there have been several losses to the cause. Most recently, North Carolina has passed a legislation ruling that the discrimination of people in the LGBT community is legal. This ruling forces transgender citizens to use the restroom of the sex that they were born as, and not the gender that they align with. This segregation of bathrooms shows how American society can so easily derail progress, reverting to the rampant discrimination of the 1960’s.
This legislation has been largely driven by some conservative groups in the state, who claim that transgenders using the restroom of the gender which they align with is ‘unsafe’ for the women and children who are using the bathroom alongside them. This statement shows prejudice toward transgender people, implying that they are a danger to the average cisgender based purely on their biological sex. In addition, the law also makes it legal for people in the LGBT community to be denied or fired from a job based purely on their sexuality.
This regression in social progress has not upset just the people of North Carolina, but also the major corporations who have a base in the state. Companies like Apple, Dow Chemical, and American Airlines, are rejecting the law in order to protect the rights of their LGBT community, which affects the thousands of people within the state. Other companies that were once thinking of relocating to North Carolina are looking into putting their resources elsewhere.
The St. Luke’s Sentinel sat down with Magistra Mahler, the faculty advisor of the SLS Gender-Sexuality Alliance club, to discuss the recent issues in North Carolina in relation to our community. Her initial response when being asked about the new law is that it was, “ Terrible and awful and awful and terrible.” I’m sure many people will agree with Magistra in this statement, believing that it is immoral and unconstitutional for any government to condone the public discrimination of people who align with the LGBT community.
She believes that the implementation of the law, “is a danger for any minority or at risk group, because if this law can be put in place, it can open legal discrimination to spread from the LGBT community to any other one.” With this being said, Magistra believes that the law will be repealed because of the immediate backlash and insufficient reasoning for the law. She points to the fact that, “ there has not been a single case of a transgender person attacking or harming another person in a restroom, so their claims of that really have no grounds”. This law will most likely become a rallying point for the LGBT movement, to help them make even more strides toward the goal of equal rights. Luckily, at St. Luke’s the students and administration work to include a safe place where all are welcome, no matter their gender identity or sexuality.
Lily Williams, Just 4 Fun Editor