The Opinion Shop

Bonus letters on House Bill 2, transgenders, Gov. Pat McCrory, restrooms

Letters that got overrun by other issues before they could see print:


It’s OK to change brand

As an architect, I have designed for accessibility since the 1970s, when an architect in North Carolina created the ideas for wheelchair accessibility.

There are myriad special considerations that we design for that are real – and relevant. Visual, audial, mobility, etc. These real problems have been solved and federally codified.

House Bill 2 is a “solution” with no known problem. The only problem is the law itself, which violates federal law.

Tell a person (who “identifies”) in a wheelchair to walk up steps instead! His birth certificate probably indicates he should be able to.

Sometimes, people who think change their minds, even their “brand.” They identify as something other than their previous brand.

In the 21st century we hope there is freedom to think and change one’s brand. As far as I know, there is no caste system in place.

If a reader is ashamed or afraid of the political party with which he identifies, know that it is a virtue to freely think without shame and change their political brand.

Bob Andron



Restroom trepidation

My wife and I had a harrowing experience last week on an out-of-state trip. We were driving through a state so backward that it lacks House Bill 2-type protections against the wily predators who infest highway rest stops. Unfortunately, we did have to stop at one such house of danger.

She walked fearfully into the women’s restroom, while I took up a position outside. I was prepared to ask anyone following her in for a birth certificate or more tangible evidence of qualification to use the women’s room. Fortunately, Peggy was out in a 10th of her usual time, shaken but all right.

Needless to say, we will think long and hard before again traveling out of our caring and protective state.

Larry Bader



HB2 lunacy

The April 28 letters had two commentaries addressing common sense. One (“Moms, sons, bathrooms”) addressed the needs of young children with mothers taking small boys into the ladies room for assistance – common sense. The other writer slammed the common sense presented by a lawyer (“More than anatomy”).

When the norms of society that have been established over the millennia that deal with the natural law and civilized behavior are condemned and distorted to support the narrative of the left and the tyranny of the minority, we end up with the deliberate violation of the civil rights of the majority.

This claim that LBGT people are being attacked is ludicrous. They are attacking the majority, demanding that they give up their rights to privacy and modesty.

Men and boys perform the requirements of nature in a far more public manner: communal showers, urinals, locker-rooms. So gender-confused women using the facility would not be a problem.

Charitable behavior when so confronted should be a part of the male up-bringing. The opposing situation is a “war on women” plain and simple.

In reality, how do we police facility entrances? How do we set standards, the rules of engagement, training needs and define cost and tort requirements? Lunacy.

Dave Campbell



HB2 and gun laws

It has been said that House Bill 2 is a solution without a problem. I couldn’t agree more.

Imagine denying our right to own firearms because someone, somewhere, just might use a gun for illegal purposes. Gun advocates would argue that law-abiding folks, the vast majority of gun owners, should not be deprived of their rights in order to prevent criminal activity of others.

Yet, those same advocates in our legislature used that very justification to pass HB2.

Transgender people have been using their selected bathrooms without incident for years, And for anyone who would abuse that right for sexually predatory activity, there already are laws by which the offender can be held accountable.

As is so often argued, “Just enforce the laws already on the books.”

Steve Hall

Chapel Hill


Controlling the sandbox

Regarding House Bill 2: On this topic that’s become so dominant of our daily news one cannot argue that the beginning of this mess started with Jennifer Roberts and Charlotte’s actions that prompted the state legislature to lash out with HB2. The bullies in Raleigh weren’t about to let the pesky Charlotte mayor gain political ground.

Like kids in the sandbox, the McCrory, Berger and Moore mafia lashed back with unprecedented speed with a mandate to overrule this mayor gone AWOL.

Now, when big brother lashes out at the bullies, the bullies cry foul and won’t listen to big brother, claiming that he has no right to control their sandbox. Boo-hoo.

Every minute, every mention of this ridiculous waste of time and money on HB2 incites my own hatred of the bullies at large and profound ignorance.

I cannot believe that our governor appears on national television with potty talk and touts how he is protecting women and children when he could be doing so much more to buoy our state and protect our residents. Come on children – enough already! There’s too much at stake here.

Albert Kurz



Let the madness end

Is it possible that the mayor of Charlotte and the governor of North Carolina can end this national embarrassment? Can she veto whatever ordinance Charlotte passed and then he veto the bill that was passed in response so we can get back to the way things were prior to all this madness?

We understand that politicians have to pander to their base during elections, but once they get in office we expect them to put the bag of screaming squirrels and their pointless, divisive ideology away in some corner so they can legislate for the 80 percent of us who are secretly embarrassed that the radical 10 percent on both sides even exist.

Steve Lowry



Any ol’ bathroom

I entered the first grade 56 years ago in a small Eastern North Carolina town, and on my first day I entered the “girls” bathroom unknowingly and thought nothing of it. Back then in extremely Eastern North Carolina, having “a” bathroom was something. Having two, well, progress I guess.

Thanks to all the controversy surrounding House Bill 2, I can finally admit my misdeed. All these years I had harbored that fact with shame. Now my heart has been lightened. Now I can run for office.

Michael Lupton



Not proud to live in N.C.

As a lifelong Republican, I will be voting Democratic in this fall’s statewide elections due to the passage of the misguided and overreaching HB2. This law claims to create a statewide anti-discrimination policy, yet does the opposite. It opens the door to allow discrimination of those in the LGBT community.

My daughter is transgender and fears for her safety. This law does nothing to allay those fears.

On the contrary, it specifically prohibits towns from enacting any laws to protect the LGBT community. The threat to the safety of the transgender community is a documented fact. There have been no cases of a transgender individual causing harm to any women or children. This law will not deter a man who intends to harm a woman or child from entering a women’s restroom.

I have to say I am ashamed of the state I have called home for the past 43 years. Companies will take a second look at settling in North Carolina. The financial cost to the taxpayers of this state will be huge as there will be legal challenges to this misguided law.

Roberta Penny

Holly Springs


The wedding’s the thing

An April 17 Sunday Forum letter “ Discrimination licenses,” speaking against the Mississippi law and House Bill 2, said, “No bakers or florists have ever been penalized for their religious beliefs ... it’s quite telling that none of these people has ever mentioned refusing service to divorced people or to unmarried couples who are cohabiting – both against Christian doctrine. No, there is some special animus toward gays and lesbians at work here.”

Could it be because no divorced couples order cake and flowers to celebrate their divorces? If a gay person comes to a Christian baker’s business and orders cake and party food to celebrate his/her or a loved one’s birthday, a promotion, graduation or a successful business venture, then the Christian business owner has no biblical ground to stand on in refusing to serve him/her. Because there is nothing un-Christian about these events, the only reason for refusal is objection to the person. That would be wrongful discrimination.

The issue of providing services for a same-sex wedding is quite another matter. The Christian is being asked to be involved in celebrating an act he finds morally objectionable. Try to see it from his point of view instead of finding discrimination left and right.

Carmen Regalado



Rain in McCrory’s forecast

Is anyone else disgusted by the McCrory “Sunshine in North Carolina” campaign ad currently being broadcast on local television? It is presented as a legitimate weather forecast and is premised on the “historic” tax breaks, increasing employment and significant improvements in the state’s business environment rating – all provided by Gov. Pat McCrory.

Will there be an equivalent broadcast announcing the change in forecast to a cloudy future with rain on the parade as businesses cancel their plans for expansion and job creation, entertainers cancel performances and tourists cancel plans to visit the state?

However, the most deceitful portion of the campaign ad may be the reference to historic tax reductions. What the ad neglected to mention is that reduced income taxes are more than offset by new sales taxes. And the impact of this is not shared equally . The only certainly is that the wealthy among us have received the greatest benefit from the McCrory “tax reduction.”

In a second McCrory campaign ad, Attorney General Roy Cooper, McCrory’s rival for governor in the November election, is accused of being responsible for raising taxes. How can an attorney general have any involvement or responsibility for tax policy (they don’t) and why the media would accept payment to run what it knows is a patently false allegation.

Jim Sheldon

Chapel Hill


Boss loss a blow to N.C.

Regarding the April 9 news article “ Bruce Springsteen cancels Greensboro show over HB 2”: I do not even know how many Springsteen shows I have seen over the past 30-plus years. His music is my religion, and his shows are my places of worship. Of course, I do not expect anyone other than another Springsteen fan to fully understand and appreciate that analogy.

While I am personally devastated Springsteen opted to cancel the Greensboro show, I am in complete agreement with his decision. He simply had no other choice.

Unfortunately, I must hope others will follow his example so we can force a reversal to HB2. Entertainers, conferences, companies, etc., should echo the sentiment used in South Africa years ago. “Ain’t gonna play Sun City” should now be “Ain’t gonna play N.C.”

It breaks my heart to say that. I honestly thought, or rather hoped, we were better.

Bigotry and hate of any kind have no place in North Carolina. I will continue to purchase and enjoy Springsteen’s music and attend his shows – but obviously those shows will no longer be in North Carolina. That is a loss for the place I call home.

Trisha D. Simpson



Choosing sides

On April 8, you printed the news article “ Groups criticize UNC system for following HB2” about the news that the University of North Carolina has accommodated itself to HB2. Margaret Spellings is only the president, not the whole university. She is the patsy for the Republican-run Board of Governors.

Many years ago, I got a personal letter from Bill Friday when I complained to him about something the North Carolina legislature had done. It had just passed a bill refusing tuition waivers for out-of-state students who held scholarships or fellowships. This affected the MFA program in creative writing at UNCG, which I was then administering.

As I recall, Friday’s letter to me ended, “We can only hope that they will show greater wisdom in the future” – a diplomatic way of communicating that he thought they had acted like idiots. And those were Democrats!

As soon as the legislators realized that this law would hurt recruiting for athletic teams, they amended it to allow tuition waivers for students “recruited for some special talent.” Eventually I was able to argue successfully that our graduate writing students possessed a special talent.

Friday made clear whose side he was on.

Tom Kirby-Smith



Destroying traditional families

How many people are really going to be affected by House Bill 2? Is there an overwhelming majority of these LGBT folks who are being discriminated against? How are they being discriminated against?

Is the state of North Carolina coercing companies into asking discriminatory questions during job interviews? What is at stake besides where they choose to relieve themselves?

It would seem what is really at stake is democracy. Majority rule is the first tenet of this form of government, and although the LGBT crowd isn’t in the majority population-wise, they want to be in charge of public safety and decorum. They have rights, or so they say.

This whole issue is not one of discrimination but of who is the most capable of swaying public opinion. Celebrities and political hopefuls who agree with these folks are getting a lot of free press.

The issue here is not discrimination but blatant disregard for “right vs. wrong.” Culture should not be in the business of disregarding centuries of study concerning social mores. In order to destroy a civilization, someone must first destroy the traditional family.

Steve Trexler



Private business not affected by HB2

You printed the April 22 letter “ HB2 damaging businesses” from a small-business owner who objected to House Bill 2, and one of his comments begs to be challenged.

He wrote that HB2 “creates a hostile business environment and will hurt small businesses and employees.” HB2 directs policy toward government-owned businesses, not private sector businesses.

If there exists any kind of hostile environment with the letter-writer’s business, it reflects the manner in which he runs his business and the degree to which he allows harassment to occur in his workplace. Hostile environment would reflect his value system, not HB2.

M.E. Williams