Civil rights for the LGBT community seemed to be improving in recent years. However the recent North Carolina law, known as HB2, has put transgender rights in particular back in the spotlight.
Gender identity is a complicated subject that is being discussed more openly than ever before and offers many research paper topics to consider, from the psychological to the current focus on civil rights and how laws will be changed and shaped to work with the changing level of acceptance in the U.S.
A violation of civil rights
While the HB2 bill covers more than just transgender rights to use the bathroom that fits the individual’s gender identity, that is the area that both the media and the U.S. Department of Justice have focused on. In the International New York Times May 6, 2016, edition article “U.S. Warns State to Void Transgender Bias Law; Justice Department Says North Carolina Measure Violates Civil Rights,” Eric Lichtblau and Richard Fausset explained the federal government’s response to the decision by lawmakers in North Carolina.
Lichtblau and Fausset wrote, “The Justice Department has warned the State of North Carolina that its new law limiting bathroom access violated the civil rights of transgender people, a finding that could mean millions of dollars in lost federal funds.” A research paper could pursue an examination of the legal issues surrounding HB2 or previous outcomes of civil rights cases the Justice Department has weighed in on.
HB2 and its effect on business
Gender identity in the state of North Carolina is affecting businesses on multiple levels due to HB2. The controversial law has been deemed not only a violation of civil rights and transgender rights, but supporters of the LGBT community also have used businesses and financial means to protest the bill, such as corporations not expanding into the state and performers canceling shows in North Carolina.
In a different financial twist, some businesses have reported being pressured by lawmakers to not speak out about the gender identity focused bill, as Laura Leslie explained in her article, “Lobbyists: Lawmakers turn up pressure to quiet HB2 opponents” for WRAL.com on May 11, 2016. “Lobbyists say they’ve been told—either directly by legislative leaders or by lawmakers’ staff—that, if they or the businesses they represent speak out publicly against House Bill 2, they can expect retribution from House and Senate leaders,” she wrote. A research paper could look at the financial fallout of HB2 to the state of North Carolina thus far, as well as historical ways businesses have affected the outcomes of issues such as civil rights.
Uniting LGBT activists
Gender identity and the ongoing evolution of how society treats people who are transgender offers many areas to explore in a research paper for sociology or psychology classes. One research paper topic might be to investigate transgender rights throughout history. Another area to research would be the effect of activism in situations such as the passing of HB2 or other areas of LGBT rights and transgender rights, or even the larger topic of civil rights.
Ryan Wilson posted, “TurnOUT! North Carolina Holds Weekly Phonebanks to Repeal HB2,” a call to action for activists to help reverse North Carolina’s HB2 law, for the Human Rights Campaign website on May 11, 2016. “TurnOUT! NC, a coalition of HRC, Equality North Carolina, the ACLU and the Campaign for Southern Equality, has partnered with Aim Higher Now on identifying pro-equality voters across the state who are willing to contact their elected officials and demand repeal of HB2,” Wilson wrote.
Are transgender rights a civil rights issue? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.