Having lost the fight against marriage equality, it seems that social conservatives all over the country are turning their sites on other avenues of oppression and subjugation, and several have started to target the most private of places for public humiliation and shame — the bathroom.
Take for instance North Carolina. While it’s certainly not the only government to recently wade into the “you have to pee and poo where we tell you to” debate, it was truly a boneheaded move for the Republicans in the Tarheel state to pass HB2. The economic impact was seismic and immediate. PayPal canceled an expansion in the state, and even a porn site cut off access to their sweet, sweet fuck films (which we all know red states really love), and over 100 other businesses wrote a letter to McCrory warning him of the consequences. To his credit, Gov. McCrory has now said he’d like parts of the bathroom bill altered, but what a colossally stupid idea the law was to begin with, and it appears that — ironies never cease — the law will be at least partially flushed very soon.
The city of Houston was the first municipality to push for sanctions against trans people using a restroom they are comfortable in that I had dropped onto my personal radar. That story particularly pissed me off because Houston’s most regressive voted against a law that actually worked the opposite way that North Carolin’s did. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) act would have barred discrimination against LGBT people for a number of things, but opponents got the bill killed by ginning up fears over statistically non-existent cases of transgendered people committing sexual assaults in bathrooms.
At the time I wrote my satirical piece about Houston’s HERO law being defeated, I genuinely didn’t think there’d be a glut of laws regarding the pissing and shitting habits of transgender people. However, in more and more states, that’s exactly what’s happening. Fivethirtyeight.com recently published a story highlighting seven such laws currently winding their ways through state legislatures.
Lawmakers in seven states are looking to do something similar: Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Looking at the list shows the contours of the fight — and how different states are struggling to define a person’s “sex.” (Source)
Over in Mississippi, their state legislature and governor conspired to sign its own version of a “religious freedom” law. The backlash there was pretty swift as well, as singer Bryan Adams has canceled an upcoming concert there, just as Bruce Springsteen canceled his concert in North Carolina. Mississippi’s law doesn’t bar transgender people from any bathrooms, but it does give permission to places of business to do so. So remember how there used to be black and white bathrooms? Well, in Mississippi you might see trans bathrooms and bathrooms for cisgendered people, which of course brings up the biggest reason why these laws belong in the toilet about whence they where written.
Enforcement. How the hell do these people expect to actually enforce these draconian laws? Are they really going to pay taxes to have cops roam the streets, going into businesses and doing bathroom checks? And they call themselves the adults in the room? Insanity. The truth is that HB2 in North Carolina doesn’t even have an enforcement or penalty clause in it. So basically, it’s law, and if you break it there will be consequences, but they just haven’t come up with them yet.
If you’re baffled, like I was, at how “small government” conservatives could remotely square that ideology with the notion of forcing people to use one restroom or the other, then I may be able to help you out and give you the reasoning I came up with as to why their current obsession is the toilet, and just who exactly is using it.
All their ideas are shit. That’s why.