It has been over a month since North Carolina passed the controversial HB2 legislation requiring that individuals use the restroom assigned to the gender which is listed on their birth ceritificate. Despite boycotts of cities like Atlanta, New York, and Seattle and the loss of businesses like Paypal and Deutsche Bank, it appears that the Republicans in power have no plans of repealing the law anytime soon.
In a TV interview conducted earlier this week, Republican Governor Pat McCrory said, "I can't believe we're even talking about this," as he continued to describe HB2 as a common sense law which protects the rights of individuals to have privacy in the restroom. Prior to the start of the legislative short session which convened on April 25, Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger made it clear that the state senate currently has no plans to allow for repeal of the law.
Despite a repeal which was filed by several Democrats on the first day of the short session, it appears that HB2 will remain in effect after the legislature adjourns.
The HB2 legislation promises to become a central talking point not only in North Carolina but also in the United States Presidential Race. The topic has already been mentioned in the primaries with Hillary Clinton stating her firm opposition to the law, Donald Trump initially stating his opposition only to backtrack it is up to the state of North Carolina to decide, and Ted Cruz stating his unwavering support for the law as he mocked Donald Trump, "Sorry Mr. Trump, but just because you dress like Hillary Clinton does not give you the right to use the women's restroom."
As the election cycle approaches, Americans are left to ponder how exactly HB2 will affect the national landscape when the elections are held in November. At this moment is rather tough to predict what impact it will have as polls regarding the issue so far have returned mixed results. While corporations like Paypal and Deutsche Bank have canceled their plans for creating more jobs in North Carolina and entertainers like Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, and Nick Jonas have canceled their concerts, there is evidence that many people are uncomfortable with the idea of changing the bathrooms norms that have been in place for centuries. This is accentuated by the fact that the Corporate Retail Chain Target, has suffered over a billion dollars in losses since announcing just a couple of weeks ago that they were changing their policy to allow individuals to use the restroom which they feel most comfortable with.
The playing out of events on the national stage sounds quite familiar to that of four years ago, when the issue of marriage equality took center stage after President Obama affirmed his support for the right of same-sex couples to marry. Ironically, it was in response to the passage of North Carolina's Amendment that President Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage. The summer was filled with much debate about the issue as gays and lesbians called for a boycott and even planned a Kiss-In at Chick-Fil-A after owner Dan Cathy expressed publicly his opposition for same-sex marriage. In the end Chick-Fil-A ended up benefitting after minister turned Republican politician Mike Huckabee declared a Chick-Fil-A appreciation day that broke company sales records. Four years later, the issue now revolves around which restroom people should be allowed to use. Essentially the same two sides that kept the election cycle interesting in 2012 are turning out to once again be the pawns of a political game of chess.