In 2016, the state of North Carolina approved House Bill 2, often known as HB2, which was a bill that barred local governments from implementing anti-discrimination measures and limited transgender people’s access to restrooms based on their gender identity. The bill has been met with significant opposition, including calls for boycotts and legal challenges. The ACLU of North Carolina initiated the Correct Bathroom campaign as a response to the discriminatory effects of House Bill 2, with the goal of collecting the personal narratives of people who have been subjected to discrimination as a result of the law. A report on the hotline that was just just published by the campaign sheds light on the damage that was caused by HB2 as well as the necessity for inclusive bathroom rules.
The history of House Bill 2
Individuals were forced to use public toilets and changing facilities that correspond to their biological sex assigned at birth in accordance with HB2, often known as the “bathroom bill.” This law did not take into account people’ gender identities. Also, the bill made it illegal for municipal governments to provide laws against discrimination for anyone who identify as LGBTQ+. The bill was met with opposition from civil rights organizations, companies, and artists, who boycotted performances and events scheduled to take place in the state. The legislation was finally overturned in 2017 after being subjected to a number of legal challenges, some of which resulted in the courts knocking down elements of the statute.
The Fight for the Appropriate Restroom
The ACLU of North Carolina has launched a campaign called “Correct Bathroom” with the goal of collecting the personal accounts of people who have been subjected to discrimination as a result of House Bill 2 (HB2). The goal of the campaign was to increase awareness of the effects of the law and to promote the need for inclusive restroom policies that respect the gender identity of individuals. In the report that was distributed in January 2022 about the hotline, there are accounts from people who have endured harassment, intimidation, and even physical assault as a result of the legislation.
The experiences of people like Devin, a transgender man who was harassed and verbally abused by strangers after being denied access to the men’s restroom, are detailed in the report. Devin is one of the individuals profiled in the report. The account of Zee, a non-binary person who was forced out of a women’s toilet after being refused entrance to a gender-neutral facility, is also included in the study. Zee was taken from the women’s restroom by security officers. These stories shed light on the damage done by HB2 and the critical need for inclusive policy regarding public restrooms.
Reactions to the Information Provided by the Hotline
The Proper Restroom campaign as well as the hotline report have gained support from advocacy organizations as well as senators who have been campaigning for the repeal of HB2. Also, the research has garnered interest from the media, receiving coverage in both regional and national news publications. The findings and the personal accounts of those who have been subjected to discrimination have brought to light the critical need for inclusive bathroom regulations that pay respect to the gender identity of individuals and protect them from being harassed or assaulted.
Both the Correct Bathroom campaign and the hotline report have helped to shed light on the damage that was caused by HB2 as well as the necessity of inclusive policies and protections for transgender individuals. The research and the personal accounts of those who have been subjected to prejudice serve as a potent reminder of the damaging effects of discriminatory legislation and the critical nature of working for the rights of LGBTQ+ persons. It is very necessary to show support for the Proper Bathroom campaign and to advocate for policies and regulations that encourage inclusiveness and respect for all people. We must keep working for a future in which everyone, regardless of their gender identity, is afforded the respect of being able to use the toilet in a safe and dignified manner.
Story by ABC NEWS.