Setting the Record Straight: North Carolina Law Protects Everyone’s Bodily Privacy
The Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance Feb. 22 that was a direct attack on the long-acknowledged truth that maintaining sex-specific bathroom facilities preserves the privacy and safety of women and girls. If enacted, this ordinance would have allowed men to choose — based on feelings rather than biological facts — to enter restrooms reserved for women and girls.
Recognizing the inherent dangers created by Charlotte’s ordinance, the North Carolina General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, acted swiftly and appropriately to pass the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (“Privacy Act”) to rectify Charlotte’s failure to protect its citizens. The Privacy Act restored fundamental privacy norms to bathrooms in government and public school facilities. It also protects against future attempts to erode the fundamental right to privacy in other venues throughout the state.
And for good reason. Public restrooms are places where women and girls may shower, change their clothes, handle personal grooming issues, and take care of many other private matters unique to females. Many people are uncomfortable merely discussing these topics, so imagine the discomfort when women have to do such activities with males present. Women and girls shouldn’t be forced to conduct these private activities in a confined space with male strangers present.
Consider especially that girls and women who have been sexually abused will suffer the additional trauma of being compelled to engage in their most intimate activities in the immediate company of male strangers. No one is saying that every man who struggles with sexual identity issues is a predator. No one. But the mere presence of men in what should be a private, safe space like a bathroom can trigger serious psychological and emotional trauma for women and girls who have been sexually abused. That is simply unacceptable.
This is why the recent uproar — especially the dishonesty of those advocating that men have access to girls’ locker rooms — surrounding the Privacy Act is nothing short of shocking. The companies threatening to boycott North Carolina based on the Privacy Act are really protesting the right of young girls to enjoy privacy and security.
The fact that the NBA is publicly opposing a commonsense privacy law, choosing instead to support policies that force women and young girls to undress and shower in the presence of men, is both unreasonable and unsafe. Such groups are seeking to transform our culture into a genderless society in which objective standards of truth and biological reality are made subservient to political correctness and relativistic self-definitions.
If the right to privacy means anything, it certainly means that women and girls should not be compelled to undress, shower, or use the restroom in the presence of men. The Privacy Act correctly recognizes the compelling interest the state of North Carolina has in protecting the safety and privacy of citizens, especially women and girls, in the intimate context of restroom facilities.
Thankfully, the North Carolina General Assembly and Gov. McCrory have rejected these misguided notions of open-mindedness and tolerance that are fueling social experimentation with mixed-sex restroom policies.
Their commitment to common sense became even more important this week, when the ACLU and other opponents of privacy filed a baseless lawsuit that aims to deprive North Carolinians of their will as expressed through their elected representatives. Contrary to the ACLU’s lawsuit filed this week, the Privacy Act ensures that everyone has equal access to bathrooms based on biological sex, while also offering accommodations for those with special circumstances.
Keeping men out of girls’ and women’s bathrooms should not be a polarizing issue. Privacy is a universal value that every human is entitled to and that lawmakers in North Carolina rightly recognized by exercising common sense and protecting the privacy of women and girls.
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