LGBTQ World News

North Carolina passes anti-gay bill and receives backlash

On Wednesday, March 23 2016, North Carolina’s governor, Pat McCrory signed a bill that eliminates local governments’ power to pass anti-discrimination laws to protect members of the LGBTQ community. It went through both the state house and senate within a day and was passed late that night.

This bill basically bans any local nondiscrimination laws. It also bans transgender people from using restrooms based on the gender they identify as. It also prevents civil suits on a local government level, meaning that individuals would have to file their discrimination claim within 180 days in order to file the claim at the federal level. Previously an employee had three years to file the claim after being discriminated against in the workplace. Due to its obvious anti-transgender basis, multiple companies and celebrities have voiced their opposition and threatened to boycott the state. Tyler Perry, Laverne Cox, Apple, and Facebook have all voiced their opinions as well as presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Kentucky passes bill for new marriage license forms that fit everyone

On Friday, March 25 2016, Kentucky legislature passed a bill that will create a new marriage license form that every couple can use.

Couples will simply check bride or groom next to their name and clergymen will not have to sign their names on the document. Lawmakers pass the bill in hopes that the form would protect the religious beliefs of local elective officials. “This has taken time, but we’ve built the consensus around the idea that one form is the best way to go because it treats everybody equally and doesn’t invite any problems,” said Democratic Senator Morgan McGarvey who is one of the chief advocates of the bill.


Kansas and its anti-gay laws

Bills in both Kansas’ house and senate that could ban transgender students in both public school and college from using the restroom that matches their gender identity. The bills would also award 2,500 dollars to anyone who sees or catches a transgender person using the restroom that does not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate. Lawmakers say that the 2,500 dollars would be awarded to make up for any emotional or psychological damage that an individual may experience when faced with a transgendered person using the same facilities.

What advocates for the bills may fail to realize is that these bills would put both transgendered people and cisgendered people in a very uncomfortable situation. For example, Twitter users have brought to the general public’s attention that a transgender man or woman using restrooms that match the genders they were assigned at birth may cause an interesting conflict. A transgendered man who has been on testosterone and has had either top or bottom surgery, or both, would be forced to use the women’s restroom. If any woman were to see what she views as a male, follow them into the restroom she may feel threatened and unsafe. This situation would possibly cause more psychological damage than if a trans woman were to use the same restroom.

The bills couldn’t even get individual sponsors and had to be introduced by committees.

“Parents have reached out afraid for their children’s safety and they do not want attention for fear of being called a bigot, this legislation ensures accommodations, while still protecting everyone’s privacy rights.” Said Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook who is one of the bills’ supporters. Fellow Republican Stephanie Clayton said that the bills caused more of a distraction instead of solving any important issues. She said that there are more important budget issues still facing the house and senate that need to be addressed.

“No matter how you feel on the issue, this demonstrates a distinct lack of focus,” said Clayton.

If the bills were to be passed they would also apply to Kansas public colleges and universities as well as public schools.

Hollywood and Big Companies threaten to boycott Georgia if anti-LGBT law is passed

The Free Exercise Protection Act has recently passed through Georgia’s House and Senate. The bill currently sits on governor Nathan Deal’s desk, waiting to be either vetoed or signed.

The act would give religious officials the option to refuse to perform same-sex marriages based on their faith. Faith based businesses would also have the power to deny services if the services were to go against their religious beliefs. When it comes to hiring people, business owners would be able to turn away potential employees if they feel that their religious beliefs are being threatened. Landlords could also refuse to house certain persons for the same reasons. The bill also says that people can’t sue in civil court if someone uses the law to exclude someone from an organization or business.

Multiple big-name companies have threatened to boycott and/or remove themselves from the state all together. These companies include, Disney, Marvel, Netflix, AMC, FOX, Lionsgate, SONY, Weinstein Company, Time Warner, Starz, MGN, Comcast, STX Entertainment. The NFL has also added that they would not host a SuperBowl there.

38 people have also signed a letter presented to Governor Deal by the Human Rights Campaign. These individuals include, Anne Hathaway, Ryan Murphy, Seth McFarlane, Lee Daniels, Matt Bomer, Kristin Chenoweth, Zoe Kravitz, and Julianne Moore.

If the bill is signed Georgia may be faced with a massive loss of income from the entertainment business.