The Rainbow Toilet vs. HB2: Wiped from The Headlines in NC
Law & Order’s Special Victims Unit had nothing on Genevieve “Gigi” Burkhalter of Durham NC; but that wasn’t going to stop the North Carolina state troopers who do security at the governor’s mansion in Raleigh. The mansion is currently occupied by governor Pat McCrory, known worldwide as the face of HB2, Carolina’s trans-hostile Bathroom Law.
The troopers were sure they saw a crime being committed there under cover of darkness on April 15, 2016, and when they followed up what they saw on a security videocam, there it was, on the green lawn near the mansion.
A bomb? A corpse? A cache of erased State Department emails? No, wait — it was a toilet.
But not just any toilet. A rainbow toilet. Bearing a sign:
“Gov. McCrory, your hands are not clean. Cut the Crap! #We Came 2 Slay HB2.”
The troopers knew what that meant. And they were not about to take any crap either. Crime is a serious problem in North Carolina; and they weren’t letting any grass grow under their efforts to fight it.
Fast forward to November 2. (Check that: six-plus months is slow-forwarding.) Gigi Burkhalter, who was arrested at home for this offense, taken to Raleigh in cuffs, sat in a courtroom in Raleigh, with a radical Quaker lawyer, Scott Holmes, at her elbow. Holmes is aggressively defending her against the heinous charge of — littering.
More precisely, “recklessly” leaving litter weighing more than 15 and less than 500 pounds on somebody else’s property. What sentence she could get for this offense wasn’t clear; but Holmes has managed to keep the death penalty off the table, thus far.
Interviewed by the Raleigh News & Observer, Burkhalter acknowledged that she is
“at odds with the political agenda that brought the ban on gay marriage, House Bill 2 and the block on raising the minimum wage.
“Burkhalter has made a practice of using the women’s or men’s restroom, but mostly single-stall facilities. As a person who identifies as “gender non-conforming,” Burkhalter has experienced slurs, indignant questions and concerns of violence.
“To me there’s something larger at issue here than the littering, and that’s HB2,” she said. “That’s the real crime. It’s targeting people, and causing fear and making it difficult for people to live their life. I think there are more important things to worry about.”
Attorney Holmes urged the judge to dismiss the case. The judge did not rule on the motion, and set December 5 for another hearing.
I don’t know if I can stand the suspense.
In other HB2 news: Governor McCrory, who’s in a tough race for re-election, got a ringing endorsement from an unexpected source last week: The Roanoke, Virginia Times. What tipped the balance for them? All the bounty McCrory & HB2 have brought — to the Virginia economy:
“Which candidate,” the Roanoke editors asked, “would do the most to help our local [VIRGINIA] economy? That’s easy. It’s Pat McCrory, the Republican governor of North Carolina, who’s seeking his second four-year term in the November election. We can point to specific and multiple ways he has helped the economy — our [VIRGINIA] economy.
North Carolina panicked and made a spectacle of itself by passing HB2, its so-called “bathroom bill.” In response, various companies and even sports leagues pulled events from the state. Three of those have wound up in Salem [VIRGINIA] –the NCAA Division III men’s and women’s soccer championships, as well as the Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association football championship. That’s money in the bank for us.
. . . Feel free to argue all you want which presidential candidate would be best, but it’s clear that Virginia would be best served if North Carolina re-elected McCrory.”
Sure can’t argue with that.