Opinion: Daily Journal

Another Round of Media Hysteria

As it stands, private businesses can do what they like, but public restrooms are restricted to those whose birth certificate gender matches the sign on the restroom.

We’ve been witness to a level of ideologically driven mass media hysteria in recent weeks unseen since the Duke lacrosse rape hoax story. I’m talking about the General Assembly’s nullification, via House Bill 2, of Charlotte’s ordinance designed to legislate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender discrimination.

The Charlotte ordinance, which was defeated in March 2015 in a close vote, but which passed 7-4 on Feb. 22, was billed as a nondiscrimination proposal that would have added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories in such things as job discrimination and public accommodations.

“Public accommodations” turned out to be the fly in Charlotte’s social-justice ointment. It was undeniable, and universally agreed, in fact, that this law would allow transgender people to use public or private-business restrooms that, shall we say, didn’t match their born-with plumbing.

The concerns of many that men dressed as women were going to be able to enter restrooms and locker rooms with women and girls were ridiculed by the media, in print and even on sports radio talks shows, who used the NBA’s threat to yank the NBA all-star game from Charlotte as a means of entry into this story.

Nearly every news story ignored the real concern of men being able to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, even though stories abound nationwide of men using such ordinances as cover to invade those once-protected premises.

Most reports were content to call the Charlotte ordinance an “anti-discrimination ordinance” and leave it at that. The News & Observer, for instance, ran a headline, “North Carolina not the only state restricting LGBT rights,” unquestioningly classifying restrictions on men using women’s facilities as a restriction of LGBT rights.

If there has been any concern in the mainstream media with the right of privacy for girls and women in restrooms and locker rooms, I haven’t found it.

The immediate hysteria on the part of corporate giants like Facebook, Apple, Bank of America, and the NBA was something to behold, spurred by inaccurate reporting and sensationalism.

The degree of hypocrisy behind these reactions was best captured by Charlotte blogger SA Matthews. She pointed out in an online column that since Charlotte didn’t pass its anti-discrimination ordinance until February, the situation now is exactly the same as last year, when the NBA awarded the city the all-star game.

As it stands, private businesses can do what they like, but public restrooms are restricted to those whose birth certificate gender matches the sign on the restroom. This is status quo ante, which prompts the question: Why so much media and corporate hysteria?

Jon Ham (@rivlax) is a vice president of the John Locke Foundation and publisher of Carolina Journal.



  • ProudlyUnaffiliated

    Why? This was the left on attack. The General Assembly and Gov. McCrory responded correctly. Now we get to watch Rev. Barber fire up his Moral Monday crowd to protest gender-specific bathrooms. This is better entertainment than the Final Four!

    • Amy Fowler

      Remind us who held this emergency session?

      • Fedupwhenwillitend

        Remind us which city council created this unnecessary situation to occur, and placed the children of North Carolina in danger?

  • Rick Nolte

    even though stories abound nationwide of men using such ordinances as cover to invade those once-protected premises.
    In what world Jon?

  • Amy Fowler

    Unfortunately this bill reaches farther than bathrooms to limit recourse in state courts of all types of discrimination. This is the part republicans want everyone else to ignore.

    But on the bathroom issue, it also limits inidividuals with disabilities who may need supervision from a member of the opposite sex long after the age of 8. Searching for a single use bathroom may not be possible for these already challenged individuals and parents.

    Moreover this bill appears to be a ploy to rally the bases who react emotionally without considering facts.

    Stranger danger is a myth. If people really fear for their children, they should be focused on fearing a known male in their family’s life that exhibits grooming behavior, secrets, and isolation.

    For young women, the greater risk is being drunk and isolated at a fraternity party. There are NOT many statistics on transgender assault in bathrooms ( I have seen your links to single articles but I also found links to politicians such as Hastert), but there are statistics on national websites on the risks of sexual assault within fraternities. Some people think this may be overblown ( citing Duke lacrosse issue), but statistics show only 2-8% are false reports while under reporting is a much greater issue. If people really care about protecting your family, go read reputable organization’s evidence and suggestions on prevention.

    • Fedupwhenwillitend

      There is plenty of danger to women and girls with men entering women’s restrooms. And probably for boys having women entering the men’s restroom as well. It is an easy search on the interenet should you care too find it. Amy, you don’t want to find it. You are unconcerned about the children in North Carolina as long as you win this battle. The danger is not a myth, it is very, very real. Safety is unimportant to you.

      Instead you bring not up off the wall points unrelated to the bill. My guess that is what happens when you cannot support your point.

    • Companion Toilets or large unisex toilets should be provided in all public toilet areas. The legislation exempted people needing assistance but they should be taken care of with companion toilets. North Carolina is taking a lot of heat for the wrong reasons. Charlotte started something by being pressured by a power play representing a relatively small vocal group that has a grievance but pushing a law that negatively effects a far larger group. All this fuss is causing many people to consider what could be going to happen to them and their family members when perverts take advantage of the situations opening to them. From reactions I have observed since this started, laws similar to NC’s will be put in place around the country. Unforeseen circumstances are happening on both sides.

  • BobLee Says

    Jon, I’d be curious if McClatchy (N&O, ChrlObs) and WRAL still have gender-segregated rest rooms. Maybe also check Wells Fargo et al of the protesting corporations… and all the media outlets on the LGBT bandwagon? Surely they have all gone Uni-gender…. right?