This, ladies and gentlemen, is a spiteful little man named Mark Brody who thinks his and his Republican party’s views on transgender people are righter than any old governing athletic body like the NCAA or the Atlantic Coast Conference. He and four co-sponsors have introduced a bill in the NC State Legislature which states that “public universities would be required to immediately begin the process of leaving their athletic conference if the organization boycotts the state.”
A little history is in order. Last year North Carolina passed a law called HB2, often called “the bathroom bill.” It reversed a local ordinance in Charlotte which had outlawed discrimination against transgender people, allowing them to use the public bathroom which corresponded to the gender identity they identified as.
The state has long had laws regulating workplace discrimination, use of public accommodations, minimum wage standards and other business issues. The new law – known as HB2, the Charlotte bathroom bill or, more officially, as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act – makes it illegal for cities to expand upon those state laws, as more than a dozen cities had done, including Charlotte, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham.
North Carolina’s new law sets a statewide definition of classes of people who are protected against discrimination: race, religion, color, national origin, age, handicap or biological sex as designated on a person’s birth certificate. Sexual orientation – people who are gay – was never explicitly protected under state law and is not now, despite recent court decisions that legalized same-sex marriage.
The law not only overturned the Charlotte bill, it also nullified other local ordinances which would have added protection for LGBT citizens to existing anti-discrimination statutes.
About two weeks ago the ACC announced that North Carolina venues would be allowed to host ACC sporting events again, since the state legislature had modified HB2 to remove the clause which forced people to use the bathrooms conforming to the gender shown on their birth certificates. This after pulling 10 neutral-site events in 2016-2017.
Mr. Brody and his colleagues are vindictive. With their proposed legislation they are threatening the ACC with the loss of UNC-Chapel Hill (which won the NCAA Championship last week) and NC State should the ACC boycott or withdraw its events from the state again. “I think there are a lot of conferences that would love to have North Carolina, including having a national championship basketball team join their conference,” Mr. Brody said.
That’s as may be, but I suspect the alumni at the two schools might have a few things to say about it.
Mr. Brody is an equal opportunity whiner, by the way.
Brody has also filed another bill that takes aim at the NCAA and ACC for their actions on House Bill 2. The “Athletic Associations Accountability Act” would require House and Senate leaders to complain to the IRS that the boycotts violate rules for nonprofit organizations.
That bill would also require any UNC system leader or staff member who serves on a board or committee for an intercollegiate athletic association, such as the ACC and NCAA, to disclose their votes – unless the vote involves a legal settlement or personnel matter. That would make public any votes cast by UNC chancellor or leader on a proposed boycott.
Get that? “You must whine to the Federal IRS!” So much for not liking Uncle Sam’s interference in state government’s rights, huh? Some conservative Mr. Brody is.