Earlier this week the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – the group that oversees about 460,000 student-athletes and more than 1,000 colleges and universities – announced it was relocating “all seven previously awarded championship events from North Carolina for the 2016-2017 academic year” due to its commitment to “fairness and inclusion” over the state’s bathroom bill.
The moving is sweeping in its scope, though not surprising given our culture’s desire to be viewed by the world as “inclusive” – not “homophobic.”
But the NCAA’s move is intellectually perplexing. In fact, I might go so far as to say the boycott is nothing but feigned outrage over North Carolina’s “bathroom bill.”
It’s a big allegation, I know – but one that’s substantiated. Let’s review the facts.
1. Critics mischaracterize the bill
Its detractors say North Carolina’s HB2 is an “anti-LGBT” bill and throw around words like “hate,” “discrimination” and “intolerance” when describing it – but they’re wrong.
What the bill actually does is clarify basic civil rights and freedom for all people. It established a statewide bathroom privacy and safety law – which does NOT apply to private businesses or companies.
And what does that law say? Quite simply, that men are required to use restrooms with other men, and women with other women.
2. HB2 didn’t change North Carolina law
Prior to HB2, the state’s public bathrooms and changing facilities were always restricted to male or female based on biology. State law always protected against discrimination on the basis of “race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap …” – just like the federal civil rights law.
The only difference?
HB2 amended the word “sex” to specify “biological sex,” which has always been the clear understanding anyway until just very recently. It did this to rein in Charlotte’s rogue city council, which was acting beyond its legal authority when it tried to undermine state law by adding “sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity” (SOGI) to its local non-discrimination ordinance – something its citizens greatly opposed.
3. The NCAA isn’t boycotting other states
Did you know 29 other states do not offer special protections to people who identify as LGBT? Why isn’t the NCAA boycotting them, too?
4. Despite its protests, the NCAA believes men and women are different
Earlier this year Ryan T. Anderson wrote about the LGBT activists’ new focus on bathrooms and locker rooms:
Their official policy is that boys who identify as girls should have unfettered access to girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities. Anything less than full access to the bathroom and locker room of their choice is, they say, a transphobic denial of civil rights and equality. This extreme position is out of step with the majority of Americans, and utterly inconsiderate of the concerns of the non-transgendered community …
Ask yourself: Why do we have gender-specific locker rooms in the first place? It’s because of biology, not because of “gender identity.” Separate facilities reflect the fact that men and women have bodily differences; they are designed to protect privacy related to our bodies.
In other words, when activists lobby to allow transgender-identified people to use the bathrooms and changing/shower facilities of the opposite biological sex, they are minimizing the very real physical differences between men and women.
Yet, that difference is one the NCAA fully embraces. Like Alliance Defending Freedom’s Kellie Fiedorek points out,
“If the NCAA actually believed that no differences exist between men and women, it would merge its men’s and women’s leagues. Instead it hopes no one notices that it appropriately maintains separate leagues for men and women while it opposes the commonsense law that simply protected the privacy rights and dignity interests of North Carolinians.”
And that last point is the glaring inconsistency of the NCAA’s boycott of North Carolina.
The NCAA has an annual revenue of almost $1 billion – yes, billion with a “b.” Much of that money is made through its men’s basketball tournament. If the organization is really serious about its assumed belief there are no real differences between men and women … why doesn’t it combine its male and female basketball leagues?
If you want to learn more about this issue, I hope you’ll read Focus’ article series “The Real Story Behind North Carolina’s HB2.” As you’ll see, having a deep love and respect for all humans – including those who struggle with homosexuality and gender confusion – doesn’t mean we should define people by those characteristics, or that they deserve special legal protections based on those characteristics, especially at the expense of the health, safety and privacy of others.
I’d like to hear from you. What do you think of the NCAA’s boycott? Let me know in the comments section below.