On March 3rd, Governor Pat McCrory signed a new state law that questions equality among all. After Charlotte enacted a nondiscrimination ordinance allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, House Bill 2 was speedily put in place to contradict such right, declaring that transgender individuals must instead use the restroom that aligns with the gender on their birth certificate.
Supporters argued that the law is necessary for the safety of others, explaining that males could enter female restrooms and sexually abuse women. Such events could happen with or without HB2, as there are not security guards monitoring a restroom entrance. Males with such intent could enter a female restroom at any point, so why impede on the comfort of transgender individuals?
Madeleine Gause, a transgender woman, explains, “When transgender people go into a restroom, they are just going to the bathroom.” People aren’t getting raped and murdered due to their presence.
There are many who agree with Gause, one of whom being New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. In response to HB2, he has banned all non-essential state travel to North Carolina.
New York is among the top ten states represented among students in Elon University’s Class of 2019. The distinct opposition and tension between those students’ home state and present state presents a tricky situation. People’s views are not forced to align with those of their local government and can be entirely their own, but it does feel as if their loyalty is being questioned. If someone’s views align with North Carolina lawmakers', are they being unfaithful to the place they grew up in? Does an opponent’s disgust towards North Carolina lawmakers impact their campus pride?
Elon’s stance on the matter has allowed students to feel a separation between the university and the state as a whole. Because the new law does not pertain to private institutions, the school responded that the new law “will not impact Elon’s policies and practices,” and continue to support individuals using bathrooms that align with their gender identity.
Whether via social media, class discussions or casual intellectual conversations, many students have expressed disgust of the new law and their appreciation towards Elon’s position. Freshman Anna Linsz is upset by the new law, as she feels that no one should be discriminated against because of who someone loves or how they identify. “Legalization of discrimination is a step backwards and will harm innocent LGBTQ people,” she said, and added, “Shame on NC for allowing this to happen.”
With transgender people making up only a small portion of the population, HB2 begs the question of why. Why make a law that targets individuals who already face scrutiny? It seems to be a power move, overriding a local government’s ordinance and demanding the opposite from the state as a whole. North Carolina, next time you feel the need to show us who’s boss, settle it with an arm wrestle and show us how macho you really are. Don’t infringe on the comfort of equal members of society.