Several people I know now can’t legally use the restroom that’s appropriate for them in North Carolina. They look like women or like men and everyone considers them that, but their birth certificate says the reverse, so the law says they have to outrage everyone by going into the wrong restroom. Effectively, they’ve been banned from using restrooms in the state. It may not be the most outrageous law on the books, but it’s close to the top in sheer creepiness.
This could be a serious problem for science fiction conventions, which attract a higher than average proportion of trans people, in North Carolina. Maybe such people will just stay away, “solving” the problem. If they do go, I think this is one of the clearest cases for civil disobedience. It’s not as if cops are going to stand at the restroom entrance and ask you for documentation.
Should cons take a formal position on this? Doing so might draw unwanted attention from law enforcement. On the other hand, it would be a good idea to let trans people know the con supports them. It’s a tricky area.
Do the North Carolina legislators even understand? Do they want situations where a man goes into a women’s restroom? I’d like to think they just don’t understand the reality of it, but too many politicians don’t care about any consequences of their actions except the votes they gather.
Incidentally, I had a really hard time finding a link to a news story on the legislation using Google News. Almost everything was either a commentary or an article on someone else’s commentary. With all their skills, can’t the people at Google come up with software that can tell a news story from an editorial?
Update: Here’s a piece with more details on the law. It says the law doesn’t apply to stores or fast food restaurants. Does it apply to hotels? Now I’m not sure.