What's Going On In North Carolina?
The news has been chock-full of stories about North Carolina's House Bill 2 (HB2) and the reaction from entertainers, politicians and businesses. Rock star Bruce Springsteen, for example, canceled a tour stop in Greensboro. PayPal canceled plans to build a new global operations center in Charlotte. The National Basketball Association issued a statement suggesting they might not hold the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte. Each cited the recent passage of a religious freedom and privacy and safety law – HB2 – as their reason.
If all you read are news headlines, you might think North Carolina enacted a discriminatory law that threatened and endangered lesbian-, gay-, bisexual- and transgender-identified (LGBT) individuals in the state. That's the standard narrative, anyway.
What's The Real Story?
The frequent media narrative is that bills, such as HB2, are about hatred and discrimination toward LGBT-identified people. In this narrative, the city of Charlotte passed an ordinance to protect individuals based on "sexual orientation and gender identity" (SOGI) and "gender expression." Then elected leaders at the state capitol passed an "anti-LGBT" bill overturning Charlotte's ordinance. Now, following this narrative, celebrities, businesses and politicians are punishing the entire state for its alleged discriminatory intolerance.
From our perspective, this is just a story. And the reality is much different. While the media narrative throws around words like "hate," "discrimination" and "intolerance," that's not what motivates supporters of HB2 ― and it's not why many oppose SOGI ordinances, such as the one passed by the city of Charlotte.
At Focus on the Family, we have a deep love and respect for all people ― including men and women who struggle with homosexuality and gender confusion. But we don't believe those characteristics should define people or that they deserve special legal protections based on those characteristics.
We also want to protect fundamental freedoms and rights for all citizens, including: freedom of speech; religious freedom; personal privacy and safety; and parental rights in education. These basic rights and freedoms are more and more under assault these days, often through SOGI ordinances like the one in Charlotte.
The real story is that HB2 was signed into law in order to protect the foundational freedoms of all people.