When North Carolina passed House Bill 2 as a reaction to a Charlotte ordinance I personally thought was a complete waste of time and money. I figured I would not worry about speaking to the issue on the blog since as far as I could tell it had nothing to do with beer, fermentation, or firearms. If you are not familiar with the controversy I’ll sum it up briefly. Charlotte passed an ordinance which could allow men to enter female restrooms and dressing areas and as a reaction the General Assembly was convened and created legislation in a day which required everyone to use the bathroom and dressing areas based on their sex designation on their birth certificate. So when Bruce, excuse me, Caitlyn Jenner comes to town you will see him at a urinal next to you in heels, makeup, and perhaps an evening gown. If he uses the women’s room he would be breaking the law.
So I know you are asking yourself what the heck has this got to do with beer. Well nothing at first until one of the local breweries who has been involved with marketing in conjunction with the state requested to be removed from the website and other programs in protest of the law. While I applaud their conviction to their belief, I also see the way it was handled on social media and the news as strategic marketing. Nothing wrong with that at all, but it takes a bit of the nobility out of their actions. Anyway, I am starting to see more breweries and bars take a similar approach albeit without any notoriety. Many are changing all their restrooms to unisex or are adding a unisex restroom.
Back to the legislation for a minute. I understand the concern of the legislators, they are trying to protect women and children from predators. Their intentions were good, but the legislation they passed needs work. Men have been trying to see into women’s locker rooms since the first locker room was built and no amount of legislation is going to change that. While it sounds great to lock bathroom use into a biological sex categorization, you have now made it a crime for me to go drop a deuce in the women’s room of a gas station while the men’s room is out of order. If you go to a concert or sporting event and step into the wrong porta potty labeled for the opposite sex it is now a crime. How about when the women’s room backs up and the men allow women to use the enclosed stall with a locking door while they step to the urinals to do their business, this is now a crime. It was legislation with good intentions, but it needs to be revised and quick. We are already losing business as a result and our state is being defined by others based on this legislation.
People will pee where they feel most comfortable doing so. A law on the books will not keep a sexual predator out of a women’s restroom or locker room any more than a sign saying no guns allowed will keep a criminal from robbing a restaurant. Laws and signs are only good for law-abiding citizens and criminals will not respect them.