PayPal, a company well-known for its support of LGBT causes, has chosen to punish the state of North Carolina for its new law, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, designed to protect the privacy of its citizens in public restrooms.
The corporate giant is cancelling its plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte, after the North Carolina Legislature passed a law that PayPal declares is “discriminatory” against transgenders (people claim to have a “mismatch” between their sexual identity and their biological sex). The move by PayPal will cost the city and the state about 400 jobs.
It is but the latest example of corporations using their economic clout to bully states and local governments into submitting to progressive policies.
The move by PayPal follows the decision by Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State to bar “non-essential state travel” to North Carolina. He was joined in that move by the mayors of Seattle and San Francisco.
What did the new law do that has PayPal so upset that its corporate bosses have opted out of opening a facility in the Tar Heel State? After the city of Charlotte crafted a city ordinance that would have allowed individuals to select the restroom of their “gender identity,” the state legislature passed a law overturning the ordinance. In other words, the law would not allow grown men to use the same restrooms as young girls.
Because of this action, designed to protect the rights of North Carolinians to use a restroom without having their privacy invaded by a person of the opposite sex, other businesses might follow in using their economic muscle to punish the state. Other companies that have already expressed criticism of the new law include American Airlines, Google, and Apple. The NBA has even threatened not to allow the state to host its all-star game next year. More than 100 companies have joined together to protest the law.
But PayPal is the first to take definite action. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman was indignant about North Carolina’s law: “Becoming an employer in North Carolina, where members of our teams will not have equal rights under the law, is simply untenable," he asserted. "The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture.”
Who would have thought that a company that provides a secure way of paying for goods over the Internet would have as its mission allowing men into women’s restrooms, and women into men’s restrooms?
Schulman said the decision against building a facility in North Carolina “reflects PayPal’s deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect.”
This Orwellian “newspeak” is unbelievable. On the contrary, PayPal’s decision is just the latest assault upon our society’s culture of respect for privacy. It is an insult to the dignity and respect of a person’s right to have privacy in a public restroom.
Representative Paul Stam, one of the state legislators who sponsored the North Carolina bill, defended the law on CNN: “The law did not change the policy on discrimination an appreciable extent between two weeks ago and today. What [transgendered people are] really complaining about is that we have not become like the 17 other states that have put in special rights for them,” the Republican lawmaker explained. “We’re trying to protect the reasonable expectations of privacy of 99.9 percent of our citizens, who think when they’re going into a restroom or a changing room or a locker room, that they will be private.”
What used to be a joke has become reality. In 1970, the popular Carol Burnett Show did a skit with Vicki Lawrence as a new mother. When someone asked her if the newborn was a boy or a girl, she indignantly responded, “This is 1970,” and lectured the inquirer that the child can make that decision itself at age 21. Of course, the audience laughed at the absurdity of it all.
Bluntly put, to the social radicals that support this sort of thing, the rights of men who now believe themselves to be women supersede the rights of those persons who consider themselves the same sex with which they were born.
Or, as it was put in George Orwell’s classic novel Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Steve Byas is a professor of history at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College in Moore, Oklahoma. His book History’s Greatest Libels is a challenge to many of the lies told about historical figures such as Christopher Columbus, Marie Antoinette, Joseph McCarthy, and Clarence Thomas.