Civic

Attorney Says NDO Meant to Change Behaviors

Kristie Sluder said the ordinance painted local natives as hating and homophobic. It would, she said, disrespect women’s right to privacy and force Christians to drop their religion at the door.

AshevilleWhy is the government spending so much time telling people to ignore science and embrace a new paradigm of gender? It’s because of the tears, and it’s only natural to want to stop the crying. Each week, the Buncombe County Commissioners are bombarded by highly successful women trapped in men’s bodies, choking back the tears as they try to impress on deaf ears the trauma of what it’s like to go into the powder room to freshen up, only to have those inside scream and run.

It should therefore be to their delight that, barring legal intervention, this will soon become a thing of the past in Buncombe County. The commissioners approved the nondiscrimination ordinance (NDO), which has been in the public eye for over a month. The vote was 6-0, Commissioner Robert Pressley being out with a full shoulder replacement.

The NDO is slated to go into effect July 1, giving staff a couple of months to sort out issues like at what level of triggering microaggressions will become civil offenses and how much of what kind of re-education will allow daily fines to cease. The county must also hire an equity and inclusion officer, who will be in charge of investigating charges and determining guilt.

After that, readers of the Tribune will have to turn elsewhere for updates on the subject, as this particular contributor has a bad habit of using synonymous phrases to expose absurdity; and that could prove very costly.

For example, Commissioners Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Parker Sloan told the public how the legislature was drafting bills that would go so far as to deny critical care to transgendered youth. One bill, S514, would ban doctors from removing perfectly healthy body parts from or administering infertility-inducing medications to persons under the age of 21. 

Further, arguing, “Whereas, the cause of the individual’s impression of discordance between sex and identity is unknown, and the diagnosis is based exclusively on the individual’s self-report of feelings and beliefs;” the bill would require each parent and legal guardian to be notified of any counseling that would subject their child to try on other-genderedness. This, Sloan explained, constituted life-and-death intervention because so many LGBTQ children were committing suicide because they feared “being themselves” in public.

Another bill expected to increase the incidence of suicide if passed is H358. It would allow co-ed sports, but ban persons with the biological identifiers of one gender from participating in sports for those of the other gender, regardless of identity. This bill, like the other, gave a hat-tip to demands that public policy is science-based. Its list of whereases discussed objective, reproducible criteria like X and Y chromosomes, testosterone, and body organs. 

Public comment on Buncombe’s NDO had to be shortened to two minutes per person due to the long list of registrants, many of whom did not have a chance to speak. It began with several successful nonbinary persons talking about daily, incapacitating fear of not only physical abuse, but catcalls, slurs, and the use of nonpreferred pronouns. At least three who spoke were counselors supporting nonbinary youth. Statements from three 6th-graders were read into the record.

James Fulton, who said he was openly gay and a staunch activist for gay rights, asked what should be done to protect the rights of his mother to safely use a restroom or his daughter to safely shower at the YWCA. Robert Frizzell asked rhetorically why papaws guard the doors to public restrooms when their granddaughters go inside.

Some asked whatever happened to women’s rights. Stephanie Parsons was one of two to talk about being raped in her youth. She said separate public lavatories were allowed to persist under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because of pedophilia. “You should NEVER leave a boy or girl alone!” she implored. 

“I’m going to say what people are scared to say,” said Lisa Vail, “This just feels like local government trying to appease the woke radical left-wing, and it’s wrong.” The right to privacy, mutual respect, and equal rights for all and not some at the expense of others were recurring themes in the comments. 

Janet Burhoe-Jones and David Trox, among others, pointed out how the ordinance would chill the free exercise of speech, religion, press, assembly, and conscience. Trox told how employers would be intimidated into hiring a less-qualified LGBTQ person for fear he/she/they would claim abuse, resulting in fines, hearings, and more.

Michael Woods, executive director of the Western Carolina Rescue Mission, stepped up and personally, expressed deep sorrow for any offenses endured. He added his shelter has never denied access to LGBTQ persons, but it has had problems with men posing as women to get into the women’s shelter. That is why they require ID; as a Christian shelter, they’re in business to care for peoples’ safety. “Do not force us to have to close the largest emergency shelter in Western North Carolina in order to keep people safe,” he said.

When the microphone was returned to the stand, members of the public were assured the document would not threaten anybody’s safety, and that the Bible did not forbid LGBTQ relationships, although they did not explain how. Christianity taught to love, they said, but nobody addressed the sticking point: Was it possible to love somebody without getting naked with them? The purpose of the ordinance, said County Attorney Mike Frue, was not to collect fines but to change behaviors.

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