March 31, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chapel Hill, NC – Student representatives of North Carolina Hillel at UNC Chapel Hill, the foundation for Jewish campus life (UNC Hillel), expressed their outrage at the passage of HB 2, the so-called “Bathroom Bill” passed Wednesday. The Student Executive Board of UNC Hillel responded with the following statement:
The Jewish tradition emphasizes that we are all created b’tzelem elohim, in the image of God, a perspective that obligates us as Jews to look upon people of all races, sexual orientations, creeds, and gender presentations not only as equals, but as representations of the divine.
We are also mandated, through acts of tikkun olam, repairing the world, to work towards equality and justice for all.
This legislation undermines these deeply held tenets, while contradicting the equal protections ostensibly guaranteed to all American citizens and North Carolina residents alike.
The legislation primarily claims to protect against the threat of predators in bathrooms by “keeping men out of women’s spaces and women out of men’s spaces.” This allegation is not only patently offensive to countless transgender, genderqueer, non-binary identified people and cisgender allies alike, but it has been disproven as a legitimate threat time and time again in the many spaces that welcome usage by people of all gender representations and identities.
“This bill is antithetical to our ideals as North Carolinians and as Jews,” said Shira Chandler, co-president of UNC Hillel. “This legislation strips the rights of LGBTQ residents of North Carolina to patronize public and private spaces without the fear of potential discrimination or hostility.”
We urge all North Carolina residents to speak out against this hateful legislation and advocate that their elected officials work towards creating opportunities for equality, justice, and fair treatment under the law, rather than codifying discrimination, hate, and fear into law.