In the May 6 column “The way out of HB2 debacle,” former Gov. Jim Martin observed that the Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance to permit “transgender folks to use the bathroom of their choice, which they were probably using anyway.” He also said, “If the City of Charlotte had not (passed the ordinance), we would be about where we were in 2015, with little public disturbance of big corporations, popular entertainers, sports leagues.” In other words, Charlotte should have avoided this mess.
Martin encouraged us to listen to each other. I agree.
What I hear is Martin’s concession about transgender persons and bathrooms of their choice, that “they were probably using (them) anyway.” I hear that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is the way to address transgender bathroom issues. We know from experience that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is at most a transitional accommodation. It was our national military policy, but we quickly moved past it.
That suggests the question is when, not whether, Charlotte should have passed its ordinance. Are HB2 supporters listening to themselves?