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North Carolina And The Folly Of Legislating Behavior

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In the days since North Carolina legislators overturned anti-discrimination legislation protecting transgender people, states around the country—including Minnesota, Washington, and New York—have banned non-essential state-travel there.

But Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett Price say that legislation—which effectively bans transgender people from using bathrooms or locker rooms designated for any gender that does not appear on their birth certificate—is ill-fated.

Reverend Emmett Price said the crop of antidiscrimination legislation in some conservative states like North Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia (which was vetoed by the state's governor) is a backlash against growing national public consensus and legal support for issues like same-sex marriage.

"One thing I was hoping we had learned from the Jim Crow era is that you can't legislate behavior," Price said. "Folks are, in their own local, regional, and statewide way, trying to have a referendum on [same-sex marriage] in their own way to legislate behavior."

Reverend Irene Monroe pointed out that the boycotts on state-funded travel to North Carolina may hit where the state will feel it hardest—in the pocketbook.

"The moral compass, particularly around people who want to discriminate, what actually moves them is not so much that they've redeemed their 'wicked hearts' but really about money," Monroe said.

Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist. Emmett Price is a professor of Music at Northeastern University. To hear more, tune in to All Revved Up above.

 

 

 

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