Joining the national anger over North Carolina’s new law replacing the controversial House Bill 2 was Caitlyn Jenner.
Jenner is perhaps the most famous transgender person in America. So when she began criticizing North Carolina’s new law to her 4 million Twitter followers, people took note.
A bipartisan deal between legislators and Gov. Roy Cooper last week got rid of some of HB2’s controversial parts, but it retained two parts of HB2 that Democrats and advocates for LGBT rights have criticized for the past year.
Jenner has been among those critics, even though she’s a Republican.
And she was not pleased about the compromise.
“The new law orders NC cities to discriminate against LGBT people until at least 2020 and unfair ‘bathroom bans’ remain,” she said.
We contacted Jenner’s publicist to help us understand what she meant, but have not heard back.
We’ll tackle Jenner’s claims in reverse order. She ended her post by saying that North Carolina’s “‘bathroom bans’ remain.”
That seems to be a reference to the provision of HB2 that had banned transgender people in government facilities from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify – and which instead required everyone to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificates.
But although Jenner said that ban remains on the books, the opposite is true. The most high-profile change this new law made was getting rid of that part of HB2.
In fact, that’s precisely why so many conservative politicians and interest groups opposed the new law.
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the NC Values Coalition, said it “leaves the state without a statewide public policy on privacy and safety in bathrooms, locker rooms and showers.”
(As an aside, we previously found there are virtually no instances of sexual predators using transgender-friendly bathroom laws as cover to commit crimes.)
North Carolina has now rejoined 48 other states in having no law about who can use which bathroom. The only outlier now is Washington, which is on the other end of the spectrum and has a transgender-friendly bathroom law.
It is possible that Jenner meant this part of her claim as a reference to the new law’s prohibition on state agencies, colleges and school districts regulating access to bathrooms and locker rooms — which blocks them from creating transgender-friendly policies.
But no matter how you interpret it, the fact remains that transgender people are no longer banned from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. There is now simply no law at all on bathroom access.
Furthermore, any private business that wants to enact its own transgender-friendly bathroom policies has always been able to do so and still can.
And that leads us to the other part of her claim.