By Victor J. Ward
The city of Charlotte passed a law that prevented businesses from discriminating against anyone on the basis of sexual orientation or sexual identification. This law strengthened the law that had previously been in place which prevented discrimination on the basis of religion, race, and gender.
For whatever reason, the Charlotte law seemed to have a focus on bathrooms. If a Transgender man wanted to use a man's bathroom, that was acceptable. If a Transgender woman wanted to use a woman's restroom, that, too, was acceptable.
The law could become a problem if, for instance, a male sexual predator claimed that he was a Transgender woman in order to troll the woman's bathroom and prey upon women.
Then, the North Carolina legislators passed a law that basically made the Charlotte law invalid.
This caused blowback from several organizations/individuals: The NBA, PayPal, Bank of America, Bruce Springsteen, and Charles Barkley to name a few. Some of these organizations have simply expressed regret; some have taken action.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me state the following: I am a Black man. I fully support any private organization's decision to work with whomever they want to work with. That is, if they want to discriminate, go right ahead. If they want to discriminate against me because I am Black, be my guest.
Now, I don't know why they would want to discriminate against me. My money is just as good as any other person's. If you were going to hire my services, you would be doing yourself a huge favor. If you are going to make a negative decision in regards to hiring me based on race, then I'll be ok; your business will suffer.
But, again, any private organization can do whatever, whatever, whatever they want in terms of discrimination.
My question for all these companies/people that have decided to punish the state of North Carolina: Why do you hate Gay people and Transgendered people so much?
Let's say that my company wanted to expand into North Carolina when all of this legislative action happened. Let's also say that I wanted my company to practice openness and inclusion for everyone.
How did the North Carolina law prevent me from doing that? Answer: It didn't.
If I wanted my women's bathroom to be used by Transgender women, then how did the North Carolina law prevent me from doing that?
Answer: It didn't.
What the leaders of these companies don't seem to understand is that the law does not equate to morality. If the law says that you cannot discriminate against "X" but that you can discriminate against "Y", this does not mean that you must discriminate against Y. It does not mean that you should discriminate against Y. It does not mean the discrimination against Y is moral or just.
Returning to my company's hypothetical expansion into North Carolina. If I decide to not expand, does that hurt North Carolina? No, not at all. If the people of North Carolina hate Gay people and Transgender people, then they don't want my fully-inclusive business. They are happy to keep me out. So, I've just played right into their hands.
But, what about the Gay people and Transgender people of North Carolina? What if they were looking forward to working for my company? What if they wanted to work for a fully-inclusive company? What if they were waiting for my company as a place where they could feel welcomed and supported and safe?
My effort to punish the bigots of North Carolina actually supports the bigots and hurts the people that I want to support.
There is one other problem with my decision: The only way to change peoples' minds is not through legislation; it is through setting an example. I would do a great service to my cause to expand into North Carolina and to show how great full inclusion and openness is. I could show how it actually benefits my bottom line to have Transgender bathrooms.
For instance, both Tim Tebow and Stephan Curry claim to be Christians. Who has been the better advocate as a player: The one who could not throw the football with any effectiveness, or the one who is literally rewriting the record books by his marksman shooting?
My business could become the Stephan Curry of full-inclusion and openness. It cannot do that if I am not willing to play.
But, because I chose to not expand my business, none of the things that I want to happen are going to happen, and all those things that I am against will continue.
Victor J. Ward first came across libertarianism by reading Murray Rothbard's Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy and Walter Block's Defending the Undefendable. He holds a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and an MBA from Santa Clara University. He is author of The Smartest Christian In Babylon: why and how faith trumps science -- a common man's journey towards God