Citing Need for Inclusion and Student Well-Being, NCAA Pulls Tournaments from North Carolina

The impact of religious liberty legislation in North Carolina became more visible on Monday, as the NCAA announced that seven college tournaments scheduled to be played in the Tarheel State during the 2016-2017 academic year will be moved to alternate locations. The action was taken because of the state’s House Bill 2, which requires transgender individuals to use bathrooms in state facilities corresponding to their birth sex and prohibits cities from enacting civil rights ordinances with protections for LGBT individuals.

In a statement, the organization said that the decision by the NCAA Board of Governors was made to protect the civil rights of its student-athletes. “Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” said Mark Emmert, NCAA president. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”

The North Carolina Republican Party issued its own statement, calling the decision to relocate the tournaments “so absurd, it’s almost comical.” NCGOP spokesperson Kami Mueller said, “I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor. Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking and instead focusing their energies on making sure our nation’s athletes are safe, both on and off the field.” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted her own response this morning:


In addition to the loss of civic pride, the loss of the first and second round basketball tournaments along is expected to have a $14 million impact on the Greensboro economy, according to WFMY TV News. The state has already lost the NBA All Star Game scheduled for this winter, and John Swofford, the commissioner of the ACC, refused speculate what it might do about conference championships scheduled for North Carolina, saying the matter will be discussed at meetings previously scheduled for this week. And the re-election bids of Governor Pat McCrory and Sen. Richard Burr are seen as being in trouble, in part because of what’s become known as the bathroom bill.

In Georgia, Governor Deal vetoed House Bill 757, which combined elements of three separate bills introduced during the 2016 legislative session, including a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that had been under consideration for the two previous sessions, a “Pastor Protection Act” proposed in the House that some felt did not go far enough to protect the free exercise of religion, and a First Amendment Defense Act that some believed would allow a religious organization to discriminate against LGBT individuals.

How could the NCAA’s action potentially affect the prospects for passage of religious liberty legislation during the 2017 session? After the US Department of Education issued guidance on the use of transgender bathrooms in May, State Sen. Josh McKoon vowed to introduce legislation allowing parents to sue school boards if a child was injured due to a bathroom confrontation. A 2015 effort to pass a RFRA stalled in the House Judiciary Committee over whether it could be used to override local ordinances that provided civil rights to LGBT individuals–something the NCAA took into consideration in the North Carolina case.

Earlier this summer, Sen. Greg Kirk, who sponsored the First Amendment Defense Act told the AJC he was planning on four debates this month with Sen. Vincent Fort, an opponent of the bill. No debate schedule has been publicly announced. Another wild card is whether a legislator with an eye on running for higher office in the 2018 elections might pick up the religious liberty mantle and make it an issue in 2017.

The NCAA moving its tournaments out of North Carolina, its request of other venues to certify that they or their government do not interfere with civil rights, the departure of the NBA All Star Game, and businesses PayPal and Deutsche Bank reconsidering expansions, all show that there are real economic impacts associated with passing laws perceived as discriminating or interfering with civil rights. Yet, many Georgia residents, especially those outside metro Atlanta, believe their right to worship freely according to their beliefs is being threatened. As Gold Dome leaders begin to plan their priorities for 2017, there is certainly something to think about.

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CoastalCat
CoastalCat

I could not tell you what the last person I shared a public bathroom with looked like.How much time does the GOP spend in public bathrooms? What are they doing there? Who are they waiting for? Why does urination and defecation hold such interest for them?

What does ‘worship freely’ have to do with tinkling in public?

blakeage80
blakeage80

Worshiping freely is too limited a term. I prefer the more robust ‘free exercise of religion’, which implies living out my faith in all aspects of my life. Seriously, if the only point of it all were to show up, sing and listen to a sermon, I wouldn’t be there.

Benevolus
Benevolus

Whatever happened to “Render unto Caesar…”?

blakeage80
blakeage80

Well, it can’t all be dinner on the grounds and youth retreats, can it? Following Christ has its less glamorous side, such as respecting authority and calling homosexuality a sin.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Is there a citation on Jesus calling homosexuality a sin?

blakeage80
blakeage80

If you are really serious with this question, here is a very well written article on that subject. http://www.equip.org/article/the-bible-and-homosexuality/ If you’re just trying to test my Bible knowledge of specific references: Rom 1: 26-27 (may need to read the chapter), 1 Tim 1:10 (again, read the chapter) , 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. Also, remember, that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are the same being and the Bible is God’s Word, so all parts are treated and interpreted as equally true. Just because Jesus, in human form didn’t spend a great deal of time dealing with… Read more »

davidmac
davidmac

And all of those references are the Epistles of Paul, unless I’m severely mistaken.

So again, back to Dave Bearse’s question…

blakeage80
blakeage80

Read the rest of the paragraph. Stop trying to say only the word’s Jesus spoke while on Earth matter. That’s a dumb argument that no Christian should accept.

Bonus: If you want to go O.T., Leviticus 18:22, 20:13. God has a pretty clear stance on the subject.

Benevolus
Benevolus

Oh no, Leviticus.

bethebalance
bethebalance

the problem i see is not that such an interpretation of religious text exists- that’s freedom of expression- but that such interpretations are used and needed to justify certain public policy- that’s establishment of religion.

blakeage80
blakeage80

Given my first comment in this thread, we have different interpretations of freedom of expression and establishing a religion. I don’t think they are reconcilable.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Though following Christ may include doing things that Jesus never spoke of in the Bible, my purpose indeed was to point out that the Bible does not include Jesus directly speaking or teaching about homosexuality.

Jesus on the other hand speaks disapprovingly many times about divorce in the Bible. Nevertheless, divorce is fully culturally accepted by nearly all Christians (which isn’t to say its approved of), yet nobody’s bitchin’ about having to bake a wedding cake for two divorced people getting married.

blakeage80
blakeage80

False: There are many churches that do not accept/condone/look the other way on divorce. For example, at my SBC church a divorced man (or man that marries a divorced woman), no matter the circumstances, cannot be deacon or ministerial staff. No Bible believing church ever teaches anything other than divorce is not the ideal. It exists because we are all fallen, sinful creatures, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK. Don’t conflate churches and cake bakers and don’t think just because it isn’t in the news that it doesn’t happen. Also, Matthew 19, where Jesus speaks against divorce, references Genesis 2… Read more »

CoastalCat
CoastalCat

Inside your church walls, you can make any sort of silly petty rules you want. Outside, you no longer have the right to make petty rules based on your petty religion.
It really is that simple.

blakeage80
blakeage80

…and our conversation has just come full circle, only this time with more vitriol.

Robbie
Robbie

Blake,

you understand that being trans and being gay are NOT at all the same thing, right? They’re not at all related.

bethebalance
bethebalance

not sure what the implication is here. an individual’s liberty and right to expression extends just a few inches of safe space beyond that individual’s body- any part of the body- and certainly ends when it meets another individual’s space and body.

Jack Fitz
Jack Fitz

Do you support Rastafari’s desires to smoke cannabis as an exercise of their religion?

Some might dismiss it, but I think its a valid question to pose when thinking about the limitations or latitudes of free religious exercise.

xdog
xdog

Senator Blutarsky took care of that Kami Mueller person this morning: “I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor,” spokeswoman Kami Mueller said Monday night. Blutarsky: I bet you do, girl. It’s probably a coincidence that I can’t find a single other public utterance of your concern about what happened at Baylor. https://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/the-ncaa-takes-a-bathroom-break/ If “many Georgia residents . . . believe their right to worship freely according to their beliefs is being threatened” it’s because they have been stirred up and misled by those whose real intent isn’t the furtherance of religious liberty… Read more »

augusta52
augusta52

Asked about the prospects for constructing a state zoo years ago, then-Senator Jesse Helms stated that would not be necessary—all you would need to do is build a fence around Chapel Hill (University of North Carolina). If he were around today, doubtless he would add Charlotte as a satellite facility…

dunwoodymoderate
dunwoodymoderate

This would be the same NC-GOP spokeswoman who tweeted out asking why Tim Kaine was wearing a Honduras flag pin during his speech at the DNC. The pin, of course, was a Blue Star service pin for his son serving in the Marines. She seems less than good at her job.

http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Magazine/July-2016/Opinion-Invaders-On-the-Lapel/

augusta52
augusta52

Blake Age 80, amidst the current PC controversy, I was reminded of two old Billy Graham sermons I was reading recently, “The Sin of Tolerance” and “America on the Road to Destruction”. Glad my values come from the Augusta Chronicle and not the New York Times, Boston Globe or others of the Northeastern “Media Elite”….