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Cancellations Over North Carolina's 'Discrimination' --- Silence About Hypocrisy

Larry Elder

By Larry Elder

Published May 5, 2016

Cancellations Over North Carolina's 'Discrimination' --- Silence About Hypocrisy


North Carolina's new public facilities law simply says that in all government-controlled locations, offices and facilities, any bathroom that accommodates more than one person at a time must be assigned to a single gender. Men shall use the men's bathroom and women the women's room, based on the sex indicated on their birth certificates.

As for those who've undergone sex-change operations and have had their birth certificate reissued to indicate their new gender, the bill will allow them to use the bathroom as determined by the sex on the now-changed birth certificate. That's it.

The law applies only to the public sector. If a private actor, like Donald Trump, wants Caitlyn Jenner to use the female bathroom in a North Carolina Trump Tower or Trump golf course, that is his prerogative.

"Discrimination!" cried critics. North Carolina lawmakers said the law protects women, preventing a man, for example, from deciding he's a she in order to stroll into a women's restroom to commit assault. After all, aren't we told about the "epidemic" of rape on college campuses?

Businesses and performers, citing the North Carolina law, have canceled plans, costing the state hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in lost revenue. "Daily Show" comedian Trevor Noah said: "Damn, North Carolina — you realize they're treating you like you've got Ebola. And it makes sense. If you think about it, bigotry's a lot like Ebola — only difference is, the (bleep) comes out of your mouth instead of your ass."

PayPal canceled plans to open a new facility employing 400 people in Charlotte. CEO Dan Schulman said: "Becoming an employer in North Carolina, where members of our teams will not have equal rights under the law, is simply untenable. The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal's mission and culture."

But PayPal's "values and principles" did not prevent it from establishing its international headquarters in Singapore, where homosexuality is a crime. Penal code Section 377A says: "Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years."

Cirque du Soleil canceled plans for performances in North Carolina. The Canadian-based performance troupe issued this statement: "Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form. (North Carolina's law) is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all."

But their concern for "ensuring human rights" does not extend to Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, where Cirque du Soleil has previously performed, with bookings for future performances. Article 177 of the Dubai Penal Code imposes fines of up to 10 years for "consensual sodomy." The U.S. State Department warns travelers: "Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in the UAE. Penalties may include fines and imprisonment. Under interpretations of sharia, the punishment could include the death penalty."

Blue Man Group canceled North Carolina performances. In a statement, the performance art group said that it values "every individual's right to live a dignified, vibrant life in full color. As such, we are joining the growing list of entertainment professionals in protest of North Carolina's (new) law." But Blue Man's concern for "every individual's right to live, vibrant life" does not apply to Singapore, where the group recently performed.

When the Georgia legislature passed a religious freedom law, preventing, for example, a baker from being forced to make a cake for a gay wedding if it interferes with his religious convictions, Disney and its film subsidiary Marvel said it would no longer film movies in that state. As the bill sat on the desk of Georgia's governor (who later vetoed it), Disney issued this statement: "Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law."

But this objection to "discriminatory practices" does not extend to Dubai, where the Worlds of Adventure amusement park is set to open later this year, with one section devoted to Disney-licensed Marvel comics.

To some, the North Carolina bathroom law is so offensive that it would be wrong to do business in this state that unfairly "discriminates." But doing business in foreign locations, where if a male entered a female bathroom he'd be thrown in jail or worse, and where being homosexual or transgender is a crime — not a problem.

Fortunately, hypocrisy is not illegal.

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Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host.

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