Leaders must take a principled stand against this extremist agenda
By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
March 24, 2021
What happens when LGBT extremists team up with big-time sports leagues to bully states over sexual orientation and gender identity issues? Bad laws get passed, and good ones flounder. At least that has been the case lately as some elected officials can’t seem to find the courage to stand firm in their convictions, especially when threatened with economic backlash.
That seems to have been what happened in South Dakota where Gov. Kristi Noem has refused to sign a bill banning biological males from playing on girls sports teams. Noem was all for the bill early on, claiming via Twitter that “In South Dakota, we’re celebrating #InternationalWomensDay by defending women’s sports. I’m excited to sign this bill very soon.”
But when a business organization that hosts NCAA play threatened Noem that South Dakota would lose out on future tournaments, she changed her tune and has sent the bill back saying it must be modified so that it will not apply to sports at the collegiate level.
“Virtue, standing up for what’s right, for some folks, is the willingness to make any sacrifice as long as they’re sure it won’t hurt business,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “I’ve seen government leaders act this way time and again in my 21 years as a lobbyist. But if government can’t protect us from those who would threaten to hold our economy hostage to protect or advance unseemly purposes, then who will? If the government doesn’t have the backbone or the stamina to go toe to toe with them and prevail, then we are all citizens most vulnerable.”
North Carolinians are no stranger to what happened in South Dakota, as most remember the economic threats leveled at Tar Heel leaders in the wake of HB2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act aimed at keeping men out of women’s restrooms and locker rooms. The bill – itself a response to Mecklenburg County’s ordinance forcing businesses to allow those claiming to be transgender into the bathroom of their choice – was eventually replaced by HB 142, which temporarily prevented local governments from passing SOGI laws.
Although pro-LGBT organizations and those most frightened by their threats made extreme claims about the economic losses HB 2 had supposedly caused the state, a look at the North Carolina economy between March of 2016 and March of 2017, when the law was in effect, tells a different story. According to a report by the state’s Fiscal Research Division, North Carolina’s gross state product continued to grow steadily during that time as it has since 2012 when the state recovered from the Great Recession. Industry employment continued to rise at the same rate, even without PayPal, which changed its plans to build a processing center in the state, supposedly because of HB 2.
“A large majority of the claims of economic effect on North Carolina related to the failure to land PayPal. But as best I can tell, PayPal never landed anywhere, so that loss never existed,” explains former lawmaker Paul Stam, who served seven terms in the N.C. House between 2003 and 2016.
He pointed out in late 2016, that North Carolina had tied with Texas as the best place to locate a new business, according to Site Selection Magazine, and that CEO Magazine rated North Carolina as the third best place in the nation to do business. Also, two months after HB2 took effect, the Tax Foundation elevated North Carolina from 44th to ninth place in favorable tax climate, and that same year the American Legislative Exchange Council lauded the state for its Economic Outlook, bumping it’s rank up from eighth to second.
“The point in revisiting what happened in 2016, the hullabaloo over the Bathroom Bill, is very simply to remind folks that keeping a men’s room for men and a ladies’ room for ladies for that year didn’t cause the economic sky to fall, despite all the predictions,” Creech said. “Now that the prohibitions against SOGI laws have ended in North Carolina and the Equality Act is on the table in Washington, the extremists are once again pushing their agenda. And lawmakers will have to decide if they will stand up for what’s right or crumble in the face of bullying.” Already, since the portion of HB 142 prohibiting local government entities from passing SOGI laws ended in December of 2020, at least seven elected bodies in North Carolina – Orange County and the municipalities of Hillsborough, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem – have passed ordinances giving special protections to members of the LGBTQ community.