Gov. McCrory Says HB2 Will Be Enforced As “Trespassing”

Comparisons to Jim Crow just became even more prescient.

Law enforcement agencies in North Carolina have been unable to explain how they will enforce the anti-transgender "bathroom bill" HB2 because they simply don't know. It's never been done before and the state legislature did not spell it out when they passed HB2 during a one-day special session.

Governor Pat McCrory now says discrimination will be enforced as "trespassing."

"We're using trespassing laws that we were using before House Bill 2, we're using that now," he told reporters at a ribbon cutting for a candy plant on Thursday, according to a video from North Carolina journalist Bryan Anderson. "But you know, it's just basic privacy rights and that's trespassing and we'll continue to do that just like we were doing long before the Charlotte ordinance. So nothing's really changed in that regard."

Nothing has changed he says, except everything has.

There was no law on the books stating that transgender individuals will be arrested for "trespassing" in the restroom before Governor McCrory signed it into law, but it's not actually clear if there is right now despite what the governor says.

I am not fluent in North Carolina law, but local police departments are. You may recall that local enforcement agencies and district attorneys in North Carolina have previously said that HB2 did not include criminal penalties for someone who violates the law so, even if they received a complaint about someone using the "wrong" restroom, there's no statute stating what their punishment should be.

Governor McCrory might say the law will be enforced as trespassing, but unless he's aware of a section of the law that local law enforcement is not, it looks like he just pulled that out of his ass. We already have laws on the books against lewdness, exposure, and assault. We also have laws against trespassing, but unless they were amended to include gender identity I don't think the governor knows what the fuck he's talking about.

It was already fairly clear how the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule once the case lands in their courtroom, but this really seals the deal. There is no chance in hell this is constitutional and state arguments against it will crumble under the slightest glance of scrutiny.

  • waspuppet

    I don’t remember who said it first, but the reason the police can’t figure out what they’re supposed to do to enforce this law is because the point of the law is not for the police to do anything. The point is so the owners of an establishment can yell “HEY FAGGOT! GET OUTA HERE!”

    And even that’s being generous – the point is more about letting legislators brag to their bigoted constituents that they did something to make miserable the lives of those unseen Other people so are so few in number that they don’t have to be taken seriously but at the same time are so powerful that they are the true oppressors. None of which sounds fascistic at all.

    • Exactly. They want to empower individuals to abuse people they don’t like. At first, official German policy wasn’t to harm the Jews, they just encouraged the Brown Shirts to do it for them.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    I wonder if it has ever actually been illegal for a man to enter a women’s restroom or vice-versa. I don’t think it has. The worst that will happen to you if you go into the “wrong” restroom is you might get some dirty looks and maybe a confrontation from the people in there, but that’s all.

    As part of this whole “they started it” bit (“they” being “the left” and the LGBT community), someone complained to me the other day that “it’s never been allowed before,” “it” being the use of identity-matching restrooms and locker rooms by transgender schoolkids. To which I had to respond, No, in fact it’s always been allowed. Anything that is not affirmatively prohibited is “allowed,” and it’s never been affirmatively prohibited (at least, not by law) for transgender people or kids to use identity-matching facilities. Until now.

  • muselet


    Okay, let’s see. The New Oxford American Dictionary:

    trespass |ˈtrespəs, -ˌpas|
    verb [ no obj. ]

    1 enter the owner’s land or property without permission: there is no excuse for trespassing on railroad property.
    • (tresspass on) make unfair claims on or take advantage of (something): she really must not trespass on his hospitality.

    Doesn’t fit.

    2 (trespass against) archaic or literary commit an offense against (a person or a set of rules): a man who had trespassed against Judaic law.

    Well, if you squint hard enough and hold your mouth just right


    1 Law entry to a person’s land or property without their permission: the defendants were guilty of trespass | a mass trespass on the hills.


    2 archaic or literary a sin; an offense: the worst trespass against the goddess Venus is to see her naked and asleep.

    Aha. I’m guessing this is what Pat McCrory had rattling around in his mind, but it’s not exactly a legal concept, now is it?

    The law can’t work because it wasn’t designed to work. It was designed to rile up the rubes and make a bunch of Righty legislators feel good about themselves. It shouldn’t—shouldn’t—survive first contact with the judicial system.