(The Hill) -- North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has doubled down on his support for H.B. 2, the discriminatory bill requiring public school students to use restrooms for the gender they were assigned at birth. Recently, he filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice alleging gross overreach after Attorney General Loretta Lynch imposed a deadline for him to stop the implementation of the discriminatory bill. In response, the DOJ filed its own lawsuit against the state, alleging a “pattern or practice of employment discrimination on the basis of sex.”
But what’s worse than the discriminatory bill itself, and the millions in taxpayer dollars McCrory is wasting to defend it, is that the governor signed it after admitting he had never met a transgender person. Although McCrory later walked his statement back, the message he sent was clear: the actual experiences of transgender people have no place in a debate over their basic rights.
It’s a message we hear far too often. This brand of ignorance deliberately shuts out the perspective of an already marginalized community. It’s dangerous, and it goes beyond bathrooms. As the father of two children, I would hope their world is free of discriminatory, hateful legislation like North Carolina’s.
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Forcing transgender people to use the bathroom of a gender with which they don’t identify isn’t just inconvenient or impractical. For many, especially young students still grappling with their transition, it can be traumatic, and at worst, unsafe.