North Carolina’s Shame

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My brother Peter called yesterday to wish me a belated happy birthday and, as usual, we chatted on the phone for quite a while. He lives in North Carolina and loves it. Indeed, he waxed quite lyrical about the spring there – the blue sky, trees sprouting little buds, flowers blossoming and so on.

He did not mention the shameful bill that North Carolina’s legislature just passed and Governor  Pat McCrory quickly signed into law.

I suppose most of the state’s residents are responding the same way. After all, the new law doesn’t have anything to do with them so why should they care?

That’s the attitude most of us tend to have. And that’s the reason repressive Republican legislatures are sneakily turning back the clock across the country.

For example, the North Carolina bill targets gays, and most of the state’s residents are straight. In states like North Carolina, Republican legislatures are forcing abortion clinics to close and passing humiliating laws against women who want to have an abortion. As most people are not pregnant – and some of us aren’t ever going to get pregnant – reaction against these repugnant laws is muted.

The North Carolina law just passed was triggered by a Charlotte city ordinance that allows transgendered people to use the public washrooms that fit their changed identity. In other words, if you were a man and are now a woman, you could go to the ladies’ room.

The legislature reacted with horror, passing a bill to prevent North Carolina cities from adopting such lenient ordinances. North Carolina is just one of several states targeting gays. Arizona, for example, passed similar legislation and according to an article in Salon.com this morning, there are similar laws pending in at least seven other states.

But after reading the Salon.com article, I decided I wouldn’t want to live in North Carolina – or even go there for a visit. I don’t care how blue the sky gets in the spring or how pretty the blossoms are.

Click for the article.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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