North Carolina recently enacted a law, HB2, requiring transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate, regardless of the gender they identify with.
After months of backlash from the public and national media attention, the Atlantic Coast Conference is now taking a side on the issue, too.
North Carolina lawmakers claim HB2 was enacted to protect women from predators who gain access to women’s restrooms by pretending to be transgender; an unjust comparison between transgender individuals and predators.
Supporters of the law have attempted to draw a correlation between gender-neutral bathrooms and an increase in crime — another correlation lacking the necessary evidence to support such a claim.
Not only are these supporting arguments erroneous, but the exact opposite appears to be true. Multiple incidents of sexual assault committed against transgender individuals in public restrooms have been reported across the country.
In response, the ACC said the league intends to relocate the championships in response to the bathroom law and on the basis of upholding the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination, according to a statement from the ACC Council of Presidents.
“We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year,” the statement reads.
The ACC’s decision was certainly a significant step in the right direction, considering the decision was likely to spur disagreement from sports fans.
It is important for institutions like the ACC to continue withdrawing support from damning legislation that hinders and discriminates against minorities. Sports have historically been a cornerstone in American civil-society, and the support of such a big name is no small achievement.
Alexis Baines, Contributing Columnist