Opinion

From Idaho to North Carolina, fear takes hold over gays, transgendered

Out of nowhere, the East Coast and the Pacific Northwest became tied together in related news stories regarding anti-discrimination laws.

Since North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a new law eliminating local protections for gay and transgendered people, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee joined the governor of New York in banning anything but essential travel to the East Coast state on the public’s dime, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The new law specifically requires transgendered people to use public bathrooms based on the gender of their birth certificate.

It’s telling that this law was rushed through the legislature on the heels of Charlotte, N.C., passing an anti-discrimination ordinance earlier in the year.

The state is trying to put a chokehold on the LGBT community, as well as the cities taking steps to make their lives easier and more convenient.

It’s all about fear. North Carolina lawmakers fear dangerous men dressing as women and entering female restrooms.

While their concern is not outside the imagination, it so far remains largely unfounded. And it is costing people their civil liberties.

At the Hitching Post wedding chapel in Coeur d'Alene, owners Don and Lynn Knapp are also being driven by fear, and they’re taking it to the court system.

They have sued the city because they believe its anti-discrimination law violates their religious right to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

The city officials are going to shut down their establishment one day, the Knapps apparently believe, as hordes of same sex couples come knocking at the Hitching Post’s doors.

In an effort to protect themselves, what they’ve really done is revealed a lack of understanding of the law, since the Hitching Post is already exempt from the city’s ordinance because it is registered as a religious organization, Coeur d'Alene officials say, according to the AP.

So they can breath easy, unlike the LGBT population in North Carolina, who are watching their state wage a battle against their rights.

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