Tom Sorensen

Sports organizations don’t discriminate. But until HB2 is rescinded, the rest of us do.

North Carolina might not see an NCAA tournament basketball game played in the state for six years if a compromise on HB2 isn’t found soon.
North Carolina might not see an NCAA tournament basketball game played in the state for six years if a compromise on HB2 isn’t found soon. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

HB2 will be undone. If you knocked 20 years off the age of every suburban and small-town legislator who passed it, there would be no House Bill 2.

Those of us of a certain age are accustomed to discrimination. We’ve seen in one form or another all our lives. Younger people don’t see it the way some of us do. If 10 years from now we tell our kids or grandkids: “You won’t believe this but we used to fight gay marriage,” they’ll say, “You’re right, we don’t believe it.”

In the not too distant future, we’ll stop discriminating against the transgender community. Think about it. Can you imagine growing up one sex, realizing it’s the wrong one and feeling sufficiently driven to do something about it?

It can’t be a decision people make lightly. When asked his plans for the day, nobody has ever said: “I’m going to the driving range, grabbing a beer with the fellas and changing my gender.”

Legislators’ fear supersedes gay and transgender rights. The major fear is that it no longer is 1950, and never will be again.

If the state doesn’t repeal the bill soon, the NBA, NCAA and ACC will shun Charlotte and North Carolina. Whether you like sports or not, those organizations enhance us. They’re good for us and we’re good for them.

Are they sanctimonious for attempting to dictate how we live, for insisting that if we don’t live their way they’ll take their ball and go home?

The NBA, NCAA and ACC don’t have a choice. They have a mission and a mission statement. They don’t discriminate.

Until HB2 is repealed, we do.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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