North Carolina Bathroom Laws Jack Dubow

America is a very diverse and open country, but our elected officials may sometimes get in our way. After the Supreme Court decision in 2015 to allow same sex marriage, the LGBTQ+ community has gotten very comfortable being and expressing themselves. In recent history, state governments have been trying to infringe upon trans-gender citizens rights by not letting them use the public bathroom with the gender they associate themselves with. With House Bill 2 (HB2), the state government of North Carolina has blocked a minority citizen group by denying equal protection which is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Other conservative states, such as Virginia, are trying to replicate this law and make it more strict. Virginia Lawmakers are recreating this law and adding on to the law by having school counselors come out for the students to their parents. Many LGBTQ+ are afraid to come out to their relatives because they are scared that they will not accept them.

The founding documents state that American citizens are guaranteed many rights under the Constitution and their Amendments. In the Declaration of Independence it states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Every person is created equal and has the same inalienable rights. Under the Declaration of Independence all citizens have the right to be happy in their own bodies and have the rights to freely expresses themselves and have their liberty not taken away. So, why are mainly conservative states denying transgender people the liberty of being able to use the public bathroom with the gender that they associate themselves with? The 14th Amendment to the Constitution states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

According to some politicians, House Bill 2 violates the 14th Amendment because states are not allowed to enforce any law that abridges the immunities of any United States Citizen, which would make this North Carolina HB2 law unconstitutional. On the other side, these elected officials are saying that this amendment was created to protect African-Americans and other minority races from being persecuted by the government. This means that it does not cover LGBTQ+ citizens. If the LGBTQ+ community are citizens why should they be treated differently than any other citizen?

In many circumstances, citizens are able to change the way their own government works. The LGBTQ+ community and it’s supporters have been trying to pass legislation to help out the community. An example is the Equality Act of 2015. This piece of legislature would have helped millions of LGBTQ+ citizens not be persecuted by businesses or the government. It would also allow trans-gender citizens to use the public bathroom with the gender they associate with. Finally, we can create a LGBTQ+ community committees in the U.S Senate and the U.S House of Representatives. These committees will help voice the LGBTQ+ community to help them be more present in the federal government.

Work Cited

Wikipedia. "Obergefell v. Hodges." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2017. <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obergefell_v._Hodges>.

Phillips, Amber. "What the Heck Just Happened with North Carolina’s ‘bathroom Bill’?" The Washington Post. WP Company, 22 Dec. 2016. Web. 23 Jan. 2017. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/12/22/what-the-heck-just-happened-with-north-carolinas-bathroom-bill/?utm_term>.

N/A. "Portfolio." Family Action Council of Tennessee. N/A, n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2017. <http://factn.org/portfolio/tn-senate-bill-1556-tn-house-bill-1840/>.

N/A. "Religious Liberty Accommodations Act." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2017. <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Liberty_Accommodations_Act>.

"Public Facilities Act." Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation, n.d. Web. <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Facilities_Privacy_%26_Security_Act>.

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