I love North Carolina. Mountains. Beaches. Friendly people. I wouldn’t think seriously about living anywhere else.
But I am also sick of House Bill 2. And I am tired of it. Aren’t you? No matter what side you’re on, you must be sick and tired of this controversy by now.
We absolutely have to repeal HB2, which is staining our state’s reputation as thoroughly as a bottle of red wine spilled on a white couch. Not only is it the right thing to do from a progressive standpoint, it’s the correct thing to do from a pragmatic standpoint as well.
We started out punching ourselves in the face with this one – for this has always been a fabricated controversy – and after that we’ve let people take turns punching us. The latest uppercut came Wednesday from the ACC, our most treasured college conference. The ACC is based in Greensboro and has long been accused of a pro-N.C. bias.
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Not this week, though. The ACC yanked its football championship away from Charlotte and Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday less than three months before the game was to be played on Dec. 2. The ACC made this move that will wreak all kinds of organizational havoc in all sorts of places because of HB2, which critics believe discriminates against the LGBT community. (Proponents believe it protects bathroom privacy.)
The ACC’s move followed the NBA pulling the 2017 All-Star Weekend from us. And of course Bruce Springsteen and many other musical artists have canceled shows, and the NCAA pulled seven championship events out of N.C. earlier this week, and the ACC also will relocate all its other neutral-site championships (not just football) set to be played in N.C. in the 2016-17 academic year.
I will repeat something I said when Charlotte lost the all-star weekend due to HB2 – shame on us. Shame on the partisan politics that has led to so much ridiculous rhetoric. Shame on the scare tactics. Shame on our state.
Listen, I have a 9-year-old daughter, and I worry about a thousand things on her behalf. You know what doesn’t make my top 1,000 worries? The idea that some mythical, child-molesting predator taking advantage of a law will dress up as a woman so he can follow her into the women’s restroom.
I will not regurgitate the HB2 background here. You can find that elsewhere. I’m not going to call out the names of some of the most stupid and irresponsible politicans that have made this mess, either, although that’s tempting.
I’m just going to say, again, that HB2 needs to make sure the door doesn’t hit it on the way out. And that’s not because we’re losing sports events.
It’s because we’re losing our great reputation as a state, as well as our faith in each other to do the right thing.
North Carolina is a wonderful place to live.
HB2 is a terrible idea.