Cordato on Bathrooms and State
By David Henderson
The saga of the so-called Charlotte bathroom ordinance — and the state of North Carolina’s response to it — has taken on a life of its own. At the national level leftists are accusing North Carolina of bigotry while, in the name of tolerance, a growing list of performers and businesses are boycotting the state. Unfortunately, what has gotten lost in all the rhetoric surrounding this issue is the truth about both the original Charlotte law and the state’s response to it.
So begins an article by Roy Cordato, appropriately titled “We Need Separation of Bathroom and State.”
This is the first piece I’ve read (I’m not saying there weren’t others that made the same point–I just didn’t see them) that clarified the issues involved.
A key few paragraphs:
Their [businesses’] goal is to provide the products and services that most of their customers want in an environment that those customers feel comfortable in. This environment may indeed be different for different establishments depending on the desires and cultural makeup of their clients. This Charlotte ordinance told businesses that they are not allowed to adjust their decisions regarding their bathroom, locker room, or shower facilities in order to accommodate customer preferences. In this sense the now overturned Charlotte ordinance was a gross violation of property rights and economic freedom and on libertarian grounds needed to be overturned.
So what was the state of North Carolina’s response to all this? In fact, it was to restore freedom and property rights and to guarantee those rights across the state. The law in North Carolina that so many progressives are up in arms about does not prohibit businesses from having bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, etc., that allow use by people of all genders defined biologically, psychologically, or whatever. In a “myths vs facts” explanatory statement put out by the governor of North Carolina this was made quite clear:
Can private businesses, if they choose, continue to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom, locker room or other facilities of the gender they identify with …?
Answer: Yes. That is the prerogative of private businesses under this new law. …The law neither requires nor prohibits them from doing so.
What I find striking and disturbing is how little support there is today in this country I moved to, in part because of freedom, for freedom of association.
Commenter Peter H below makes a good point. He writes it well and makes his point starkly with this last sentence:
If North Carolina had passed a law saying that businesses could not be compelled to not discriminate based on race, and that simultaneously the government would have “whites only” bathrooms in all government facilities, I think you’d be appalled.
He’s right. I would be appalled.