If you thought we had heard the last of these ridiculous “bathroom bills” targeting the LGBT community, you were wrong.
Now that gay marriage is legal nationwide, Republicans seem to be determined to take out their frustrations on the LGBT community. They have dug their heels in and have decided that, no matter what, they will continue their tradition of hatred and homophobia. And now that the Supreme Court has come down against them, they have shifted their strategy to discrimination through “religious freedom.”
Last year, North Carolina found themselves in a huge mess after they passed a law regarding bathroom rights which discriminated against the LGBT community. Because of North Carolina’s law, there was a huge public backlash against the state. Their economy took a major hit of around $500 million, businesses and performers boycotted, foreign countries advised their people not to visit the state, and several sports teams moved their events to other states.
And because of the public outcry against North Carolina, several other states dropped their own bathroom bills last year.
But now it’s 2017. Trump and the Republicans are in control. And apparently the public outcry last year has fallen on deaf Conservative ears.
Texas presented their new discrimination plans on Thursday afternoon. And five other states have already filed bathroom-related bills.
- South Carolina
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is the latest to weigh in.
“The left and the liberal media who oppose this legislation don’t understand it,” Patrick said in a press release that applauds North Carolina lawmakers for not repealing their law, HB2, despite the loss of millions of dollars in economic impact. “Legislation to protect women’s privacy and business is essential.”
“Advocates expect the bills to come in three main forms, as they did last year: bathroom bills, religious freedom bills and preemption bills that keep cities from enforcing nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people. “Lawmakers are throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks,” says Sarah Warbelow, the legal director for the Human Rights Campaign. “We do anticipate a continued onslaught.”
Though the language of the bathroom bills differs—with Alabama’s requiring an attendant outside any multi-sex bathrooms “to monitor appropriate use” and Washington’s protecting the right to restrict access based on “preoperative … genitalia”—the measures are part of the same culture war that has been growing since the same-sex marriage question was settled by the Supreme Court.”
In Texas, an organization created by the state’s chamber of commerce called Keep Texas Open for Business commissioned a study. And they estimated that passing legislation which is seen as hostile to LGBT people could lead to a GDP loss of $8.5 billion, along with the loss of up to 185,000 jobs. (St. Edwards University in Austin conducted the research.)
It’s clear that Texas and the other five states who are now pushing this disastrous legislation learned absolutely nothing from the North Carolina debacle. They may not know it yet, but they are in for the fight of their lives.
After the bathroom bill was presented, Virginia’s governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, just signed an executive order Thursday making it illegal to discriminate against anyone because of how they identify or who they love.