On March 23 of this year, Governor Pat McCrory signed into law House Bill 2 (HB2), a piece of legislation that aimed to “create statewide consistency” regarding public restrooms—specifically, to codify into law the notion that men cannot use women’s restrooms (and vice versa). The bill was attacked from many quarters as a bigoted and discriminatory anti-LGBT maneuver.
While the arguments about HB2 never completely subsided, they did wane … until this week. Earlier this week, the NCAA and the ACC announced that they would be removing many of their championship games from North Carolina. The decision, which will lose the state millions of dollars, has re-ignited the debate about the meaning of HB2.
More discussions will be necessary in the days to come. But as a first volley, we offer the following resources from around the web.
North Carolina and Justice Dept. Sue Each Other Over State’s ‘Bathroom Bill,’ Joe Carter. Carter summarizes much of the back-and-forth from the initial debate. This provides a helpful one-stop-shop for understanding the players in the current debate and the possibilities of what is at stake. Particularly useful is the way he notes other similar bills being used (rather, abused) in other states.
The Obama Administration Provokes a Legal Crisis—the War against North Carolina, David French. French is an attorney, and his angle here is more political than moral or religious. He’s concerned about the overreach of the federal government in mandating acceptance of transgender policies. This article appeared after the bill was first signed into law.
Progressives Are Weaponizing Sports, David French. After the NCAA and ACC made their announcements this week, French once more weighed in. He criticizes these organizations for taking one of the last neutral refuges in our society (sports) and making it another piece in the broader culture wars.
Seven Troubling Questions about Transgender Theories, Trevin Wax. This is less about specific laws and more about the argument for transgenderism. These are very insightful questions (and answers) that undergird the whole debate, showing why we should be reluctant to call transgender theory the next front in civil rights.
Six Reasons North Carolina Got It Right, Frank Turek. Turek can be more than a little confrontational, but he offers one of the more robust defenses of HB 2, showing why—contrary to the popular consensus—it is neither discriminatory nor bigoted.
Talking to My Boys after the Transgender Talk at Their Public School, Brad Hambrick. Hambrick (one of our Summit elders) offers a pastoral and familial angle, shepherding parents as they navigate these odd legal decisions in the everyday world of school.
What the Transgender Bathroom Debate Means for You, Russell Moore. This is a helpful response encouraging churches not to panic in the face of a volatile political landscape. As Moore notes, the sexual revolution wants to tell us that gender means nothing and that gender means everything. Neither is true. The church needs to continue proclaiming the truth—not just about gender but also about sin and salvation—with boldness and compassion.
What’s the Deal with the “T” in LGBT? Chris Pappalardo. Sadly, much of the public discourse surrounding the issues of transgender people has been politicized, turning what could be an opportunity for listening and empathy into a battle cry of “us v. them.” On both sides, conservative as well as progressive, many people consider their ideological opponents to be wicked enemies. In light of this tension, the church needs to think clearly about transgender issues, so we can respond with the Christ-like combination of truth and grace.