In case you haven’t heard, the state of North Carolina just passed some fairly extreme legislation targeted at the LGBT community. Essentially what it does is it makes it illegal for any city or town to pass any sort of laws that would protect gay Americans from discrimination. Or to put it in another way, North Carolina just passed a law that says it’s now illegal to protect the equal rights of gay Americans.
Just let that sink in for a moment. A law was literally passed that makes it illegal for a city or town to protect American citizens from being discriminated against.
To answer your question, yes, it is 2016 – not 1956. Though I wouldn’t blame you for thinking a law such as this comes from an era of segregation and discrimination that’s one of the most shameful periods in American history.
This law also included measures that prevent transgender restrooms from being created or for cities or towns to pass their own minimum wage.
Let me remind you that this is from the “small government” Republicans in North Carolina. The party that often says laws are best left up to local governments that just took a lot of control from local communities to govern themselves.
What this law also does is, because of the way it’s worded, it could allow people to claim “religion” to discriminate against anyone – not just members of the LGBT community.
The bottom line is, this is absurd – and most likely unconstitutional. These laws are nothing but a means at which to discriminate against gay and transgender Americans. It’s the modern-day version of an attempt at Jim Crow-type laws aimed at homosexuals. A way for businesses to openly deny gay and transgender Americans their rights all under the b.s. guise of “religious freedom.”
Anyone who has even the slightest bit of common sense knows that our First Amendment and “freedom of religion” does not give someone the right to discriminate against someone else. If that were the case, then segregation could still exist because, back then, people often cited religion as their justification for racism.
Though as John Oliver brilliantly pointed out just about a year ago, these anti-LGBT laws are doomed because history tells us that they are. Any time we’ve had an issue involving civil rights where a group of bigots tried to deny Americans the rights to which they are entitled, history overwhelmingly tells us that once the debate is settled, anybody advocating against those civil rights is always on the wrong side of history.
And it just so happens, whenever one of those events has occurred in our history, it’s always southern conservatives who’ve found themselves on the wrong side of these issues.
Every. Single. Time.
In fact, I would encourage you all to watch John Oliver’s take on this from last year. He brilliantly shredded these sorts of asinine anti-LGBT pushes and how ridiculous and absurd they really are, sadly making the segment just as relevant (and necessary) today as it was last year.
Watch the segment below via HBO:
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