Gender-neutral bathroom law flushes human rights


Andrea Steele

Gender-neutral restrooms are established on Marshall’s campus allowing students, who do not claim a specific gender identity, to feel more comfortable about going to the restroom.

A law was passed by North Carolina’s governor Wednesday banning people from using bathrooms for the opposite sex, including those who identify as transgender becoming the first state to pass a law of this type. Earlier that day, however, the General Assembly tried to pass an ordinance that would counteract the bill.

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said the law was passed to protect women and children from the harm of potential sexual assaults.

“One of the biggest issues was about privacy,” Moore said. “The way the ordinance was written by City Council in Charlotte, it would have allowed a man to go into a bathroom, locker or any changing facility, where women are — even if he was a man. We were concerned. Obviously there is the security risk of a sexual predator, but there is the issue of privacy.”

Not everyone was in support of this bill, however. Sarah Preston, acting executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, said the ruling created a law that would discriminate against those who identify as the opposite sex instead of protecting the rights of all citizens.

“Rather than expand nondiscrimination laws to protect all North Carolinians, the General Assembly instead spent $42,000 to rush through an extreme bill that undoes all local nondiscrimination laws and specifically excludes gay and transgender people from legal protections.”

In response to North Carolina’s bill and the recent companies’ threats to boycott the state if a bill passes allowing people to deny service to LGBT citizens, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he will protect the right to discriminate against people who identify as LGBT. 

With the recent Religious Freedom Restoration Act being killed March 2, some religious organizations believe West Virginia should also pass this law. These people believe, like Moore, allowing males who identify as women would increase the number of sexual assaults.

However, denying access for LGBT people to use restrooms that goes along with the gender they identify as is against their human rights. These people are doing no harm by using the bathroom they choose. They might have already been using the bathroom they choose and people did not notice.

The bill, along with discriminating against LGBT rights, used $42,000 in order to be passed quickly. The “issue” was not an actual issue that needed to be passed quickly, but was a waste of money to begin with.