UNC System Forced to Comply With Transphobic Bathroom Law

There’s more bad news out of North Carolina this week. President of the University of North Carolina System, Margaret Spellings, was forced to announce that all 17 campuses in the system would comply with the new transphobic 'bathroom law' in the state. The Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, signed into law on March 23 by Governor Pat McCory, forces people to use the bathroom marked with their biological gender.

Interestingly enough, the law was passed in political retaliation against on ordinance passed on Feb. 22 that actually expanded North Carolina’s antidiscrimination laws to protect LGBT individuals. The ordinance was set to take effect on April 1, but this new anti-LGBT law not only repealed the protective ordinance, but also moved actively toward discrimination. Before, there was no specific law protecting transgender individuals in bathrooms, but there was also no law forcing them to use a bathroom of a gender with which they don’t identify. 

As you might imagine, this new laws has received a lot of criticism in the past few weeks. Bruce Springsteen cancelled his concert Sunday in Greensboro in protest of the law.

While the UNC system’s hands are tied in terms of complying with the law, they certainly aren't endorsing it. In the meantime, the school is still free to designate gender-neutral bathrooms, provided that they’re single facility.

“We will not be policing bathrooms,” university system spokeswoman Joni Worthington told The Washington Post, as there are no explicit provisions in the law about how to enforce it.

This isn’t only bad press for the university system; it’s bad for the state’s bottom line, according to USA Today College. Discrimination benefits no one. Because of the law the state’s lost a $3.6 million deal with PayPal to built a global operations center in the state. Lionsgate has cancelled plans to film a new series there. The NBA is thinking about canceling plans to hold the 2017 All Star game in Charlotte. And the governors of New York, Vermont, and Minnesota have even banned non-essential travel to the state.

North Carolina clearly isn't getting much out of being on the wrong side of history. Boycotting the state until this changes seems like a good idea.