By virtue of our training in social science research methodology, we cannot ignore the difference between scientific evidence and spurious mislabeled “facts” generated by unfounded fears and misinformation.
The protective laws and ordinances removed by HB2 benefit our communities and pose no risks. Conversely, a wealth of research indicates that laws like HB2 that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender-nonconforming people threaten community members’ occupational, academic, psychosocial and emotional functioning, contributing to increased stress and poorer health.
We have witnessed the harm experienced by individuals who are treated unfairly based on their core identities, and HB2 has already exacerbated this. HB2 mandates using public bathrooms consistent with sex assigned at birth rather than one’s core gender identity, and it strikes down protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. These consequences are counter-productive to LGBT individuals’ daily engagement in academic, work-related and community social activities. In addition, research has confirmed that public discriminatory discourse around such legislation is harmful itself.
We want to ensure that all North Carolina residents live in a society that recognizes the dignity and value of each person and fosters mental health, physical well-being and full and equitable participation in society.We strongly urge North Carolinians to advocate to repeal HB2.
Erica H. Wise, Ph.D.
Kimberly Z. Pentel, M.A., clinical psychology doctoral student