The air hangs thick with hypocrisy and selective outrage as some Americans seek through their state legislatures to enact measures to balance LGBT interests and individual religious liberty.
The North Carolina measure that left Bruce Springsteen morally unable to belt out “Born to Run” for his Greensboro fans is the picture of compromise. Yet, once again, the left concludes that it has the market cornered not just on basic rights but on human decency.
For the record: North Carolina’s House Bill 2 does indeed prevent men from entering women’s bathrooms. But for those repelled by this, it also provides for reasonable accommodations such as single-occupancy facilities, and it even opens the doors for transgender people who have invested in their journey sufficiently to have their sex changed on their birth certificates. Private businesses, of course, are free to accommodate as they wish.
And this drives Springsteen out of the Tar Heel State? I will back off my opinion of him as a posturing fool when he refuses to cash two monster checks in mid-June from stadium shows in Germany, where gay marriage is illegal.
And does anyone doubt that “The Boss” would gladly follow the Rolling Stones into Cuba, rolling out “Dancing in the Dark” in a land where basic liberties are trampled ever day? Spare me his hand-wringing about the evils of his fellow Americans standing up for their religious liberties.
Disagreements over these boundaries are fine. Different states will do different things. What is absurd is the holier-than-thou strutting of rock stars and businesses getting the vapors as if these states had reinstated slavery.
I’d like to hear from PayPal, a company choosing to deny jobs to North Carolinians, about their headquarters in Singapore, where same-sex acts behind closed doors carry a two-year jail term. Then we can hear about the business they are happy to do in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, where the transgender community is not as worried about getting into the proper bathroom as they are about staying out of prison.
If these mouthy objectors want to talk the talk, let’s see them walk the walk. That won’t be happening. It’s a lot easier to bail on one concert out of 50 on a tour, or move a business out of a state or two, than it is to draw these opportunistic lines in the sand with honesty and consistency.
Meanwhile, in Texas, citizens seeking the type of protections approved in Houston last year will be slandered as bigots. Chief executives like PayPal’s Dan Schulman will wring their hands about such efforts while rolling in money from operations in regimes punitive toward the very existence of the people they seek to champion.
And stories will continue to malign these efforts as “anti-gay” incursions on rights. Some rights debates are a two-sided coin; North Carolina, Mississippi and perhaps additional parts of Texas will seek to stand up for the “rights” of women who do not wish to worry if a biological man is in the next stall.
And again, these are debates than can properly play out, state by state, city by city. But the vilification heaped upon people for not taking the current day’s favored side is an act of shameless political bullying.
The good news is that every chapter of this drama features people doing what they have a right to do. States may enact religious freedom measures or not, rock stars and companies may hyperventilate or not, and boycott people they disagree with or not.
And those people are then free to decide whether they ever wish to do things like use PayPal or hear “Hungry Heart” ever again.
Mark Davis is a radio host in Texas and a columnist for the Dallas Morning News. Readers may email him at markdavisshow@gmail. com.