�
You are here: Home » Adult Webmaster News » 'Values Voters' Have LGBT Rights in the...
Select year   and month 
 
October 06, 2016

'Values Voters' Have LGBT Rights in the Crosshairs

This article ran in AVN magazine's October 2016 issue as part of its cover package exploring the war on porn. See the digital edition here. The tenth annual Values Voter Summit, created by the ultra-conservative Family Research Council, was held Friday through Sunday, September 9-11 (though the only activity on the 11th was a prayer breakfast), and if one thing was clear to the adult sex-positive community, it’s that if The Faithful had their way, our days would be numbered. Surprisingly (at least to this author), there was very little talk about sexually explicit content, and none of the Usual Suspects—National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Parents Television Council, Media Research Center, Concerned Women for America, to name a few—had booths in the exhibit hall. But in terms of the sexual rights of anyone who might wish to stray outside of church-approved norms, there was universal condemnation. The tone was set by Friday morning’s third speaker, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest of North Carolina, the state that passed, and has vehemently defended, House Bill 2 (HB2), a law which redefined the word “sex” in the state’s anti-discrimination statutes to mean “the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.” HB2 was enacted to invalidate an ordinance passed by the state’s largest city, Charlotte, which required that all “places of public accommodation” (schools, businesses, civic centers, etc.) allow patrons to choose which bathroom or locker room to use based on their gender identity, and generally to prohibit businesses to discriminate based on their potential customers’ sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Under the Charlotte ordinance, bakers would be forbidden to refuse a wedding cake order from a gay couple, florists would be prohibited from denying flower arrangements for such weddings, photographers would not legally be able to refuse an assignment to take photos of the happy couple, etc. HB2 removed those prohibitions. Thanks to HB2, however, PayPal, Deutsche Bank and other businesses that had been planning to open branches in the state opted not to do so, and the NBA decided not to hold its All-Star game there as well. All in all, it’s been estimated that North Carolina lost 1,750 jobs and $77 million in income thanks to its legislature’s bigotry. Also, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that because of HB2, the federal government would be withholding Title IX funds from North Carolina schools and universities. But as far as Forest was concerned, the whole issue was a tempest in a teapot. After noting that North Korea had just held its fifth nuclear bomb test, and that ISIS was said to be targeting arenas and other places of large public gatherings in the U.S., he stated, “But somehow, the most important issue today is what bathroom you can use.” “This is not purely an ideological battle, it’s political as well,” he understated, but implied that the North Carolina legislature is prepared to stay the course: “Never fail to do the right thing, no matter what the cost” was his concluding battle cry. In fact, the Religious Right considers HB2 to be so important that an entire seminar at the summit was devoted to it. Titled “Behind Closed Doors: Fighting For Safety And Privacy After Government Bathroom Directives,” and moderated by Family Research Council senior staff member Peter Sprigg, the panel consisted of NC State Sen. E.S. “Buck” Newton, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and sexual assault survivor Kaeley Triller Haver. All sought to justify the sexual discrimination embodied in HB2. Newton was the first speaker, and he echoed Forest’s charge that the Charlotte ordinance was enacted “for political reasons” rather than for civil rights, and that it was for politics not fairness that North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper refused to declare the ordinance unconstitutional, leaving the “tough job” to the legislature. But according to Newton, HB2 isn’t discriminatory at all; it simply leaves the decision whether to discriminate or not up to the individual businesses themselves. As an example, he cited Target Stores’ policy of allowing customers to choose which bathroom to use based on their gender identity, stating, “I believe in that freedom,” though he later added, “I don’t think a biological female ... belongs in a boys’ locker room.” He also noted that a recent federal ruling exempts the state’s several universities from implementing HB2, but that the law, which he described as “common sense legislation,” did apply to all government buildings. “I can’t believe we’re talking about it,” he concluded. Morrisey held even more reactionary views on the issue, and had made his state the first plaintiff in a lawsuit filed along with 23 other states to overturn the federal government’s stance, as evidenced by a May 15 letter the Obama administration sent to the nation’s school districts, stating that gender identity discrimination was already outlawed under federal civil rights legislation. “The words ‘sex’ and ‘gender identity’ are two different things,” Morrisey declared, noting that federal law only outlaws “sex discrimination,” and that the term “gender identity” appears nowhere in that body of law. “There’s no way you can include ‘gender identity’ in the word ‘sex.’” Haver was the final speaker, and though the article she wrote for the conservative website TheFederalist.com was titled, “A Rape Survivor Speaks Out About Transgender Bathrooms,” none of the four bathroom rapes Haver claims to have experienced were committed by transgender men. “Let me be clear: I am not saying that transgender people are predators. Not by a long shot,” Haver wrote. “What I am saying is that there are countless deviant men in this world who will pretend to be transgender as a means of gaining access to the people they want to exploit, namely women and children. It already happens.” The problem is, according to the Religious Right, any male predator can use the “ladies room” simply by claiming to be transgender, even if there are no indications that he is or ever has been. To The Faithful, a trans woman like Aubrey Kate or Wendy Summers is no different than Arnold Schwarzenegger or Vin Diesel. What the summit made clear is that while most religious conservatives still consider gays in general as “sinners against God,” their favorite target for the foreseeable future is the transgender community.

 
�
�
�
home | register | log in | add URL | add premium URL | forums | news | advertising | contact | sitemap
copyright © 1998 - 2009 Adult Webmasters Association. All rights reserved.