Up until about two months ago, whenever the state of North Carolina was mentioned, the first thought that popped into people’s heads was, well … nothing.
Absolutely nothing. There’s really not many more unmemorable states than North Carolina. Sure, you’ve got a couple good college basketball teams there, and it’s along the route when people want to travel southward to Myrtle Beach or Florida.
And that’s fine! There’s nothing wrong with being under the radar. It means you’re doing you’re own thing, and more importantly, you haven’t done anything stupid to bring negative attention to yourself.
Well that all changed in late March, when the state’s legislature and governor passed the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which has been described as the most anti-LGBT legislation in the United States.
Since then, the backlash against North Carolina has been well documented.
But it looked like this whole situation would finally come to a head when the U.S. Justice Department gave North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory a deadline to assure them that he will not enforce this law, stating that it is in direct violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
So that ended it, right? When the DOJ comes down hard on you, there’s really not much else you can do. North Carolina tried to pass a law, failed, and we move on to the next story. What else is happening in the news?
Wait, hold on a second. North Carolina did what?
Seriously? Ugh. Alright, let’s keep going.
On Monday, McCrory responded to that deadline by filing a lawsuit against the United States government, calling the Justice Department’s position a “radical interpretation” of the Voting Rights Act.
This prompted a counter suit by the DOJ, coupled with a dramatic press conference by newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch — a North Carolina native — as she voiced her assurance that the Obama administration will do everything in its power to protect transgender rights.
At this point, it’s shocking how invested North Carolina is to go out of their way to inconvenience the lives of transgenders.
So what can us common folk do to stick it to North Carolina? (Other than blog about it). Well, we can go to their college basketball games and heckle their teams … when the college basketball season begins in November. Or we can drive around the state when traveling along the eastern coast, adding several hours to our commute.
Yeah, there’s not really much we can do.
Unless …. maybe I do have an idea.
Remember when I told you about the social media campaign to name a polar research vessel Boaty McBoatface?
Well, unfortunately it failed. Popular consensus did not prevail, and the environmental group that organized the contest will instead name the boat RRS Sir David Attenborough, all but guaranteeing that no one will ever care about this boat ever again.
How about we kill two birds with one stone?
Somebody design a massive boat (I’m talking Titanic 2.0 here), and let’s turn it into not a gay cruise ship, but a transgender cruise ship, and call it Boaty McBoatface. And where will it traverse?
The entire coast of North Carolina.
If that’s not the ultimate way to grandstand against discrimination, then I don’t know what is.