NGS States Concerns About HB 2 Impact on Their 2017 Raleigh Conference

The national news media has been full of stories in recent weeks about North Carolina’s controversial new law, called HB 2. In short, the law allows and even encourages discrimination against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals. Even the U.S. Justice Department officials are on record as stating the law violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX – a finding that could jeopardize billions in federal education funding. You can read more about that issue at http://goo.gl/qdPS3U.

Many people, myself included, are boycotting North Carolina businesses until the law can be repealed and full civil rights are restored to all citizens.

The National Genealogical Society got caught in a quandary. The Society had already committed to holding its 2017 conference in Raleigh, North Carolina before the law was enacted. Canceling the plans at this time would mean the violation of contractual commitments, probably resulting in thousands of dollars in financial penalties. Another problem is that finding and planning a new venue is difficult to impossible with only twelve months’ notice.

This left the senior management of the National Genealogical Society with a dilemma: how to hold a conference that will “ensure Raleigh is a safe and welcoming location for all of our 2017 conference attendees.” Now the NGS managers have published a statement, available at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/pressroom/ngs_concern:

NGS States Concerns About HB 2 Impact on Their 2017 Raleigh Conference

With respect to the concerns we have heard about Raleigh and the impact of North Carolina’s recent law, HB 2, the NGS Board of Directors states the following:

The Board is committed to inclusion. NGS does not discriminate and does not knowingly contract with hotels and convention centers that discriminate.

The NGS Board of Directors has sent a letter of concern to the Raleigh Convention Center and our conference hotels, asking that they help ensure Raleigh is a safe and welcoming location for all of our 2017 conference attendees.

At this time, NGS has no plans to move or cancel the 2017 conference. We hope our members and friends will understand that planning a conference is a multi-year undertaking, involving many contractual commitments to other entities and individuals; we need to honor these commitments.

We note that the Mayor of Raleigh, subsequent to the passage of HB 2, said her city: “will continue to support all of our businesses, citizens and visitors with the utmost respect, regardless of race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.” The Wake County Commissioners have noted that “County employees and applicants cannot be discriminated against based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family status or political affiliation. As a board and as a county, we remain committed to those principles.”

The [National Genealogical Society’s] Board respects the individual right of every NGS member to act as he or she deems proper with regard to the North Carolina law or to attending or speaking at the 2017 conference.

38 Comments

Thank you for speaking up about this.

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I am sorry. Boycotting and all this grandstanding is getting a little bit ridiculous.

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Sorry to hear this

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Not genealogy, not related.

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    It relates to a national genealogy conference, therefore it is definitely genealogy related.

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    Not genealogy and not related. Just a great opportunity for persons on the left who wish to violate the conscience of others to pontificate.

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I don’t understand how some can claim that HB2 has nothing to do with genealogy. It has everything to do with it. At its heart, this law is saying that your relatives and ancestors who happen to be gay are some kind of subhumans who are not worthy of a full life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in other words the same rights that you and I have. If that’s the position of the state government there, it can do so without the taxes I’d be paying by going there.

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    Please define “rights”. Getting married is a privilege, like driving. Many single straight people are not married…so are their “rights” being denied? Changing your gender is not a right. It is a choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    In response to fumetti’s post — religion is also a choice. And it’s a right. The fact that a human characteristic is or is not a choice is irrelevant to the issue of human rights.

    Dick, thank you for your position on this. Sexual orientation and sexual identity are not linked with predatory sexual behaviors. I sympathize with the NGS and believe under the circumstances they have made the right decision.

    Liked by 3 people

Thanks for taking a stand.

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I would not attend a conference in a city where the law says that I may have to show my birth certificate in order to use a public restroom.

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    I would do it with no problem. The problem with a lot of people these days because they think that actually keeping things the way it was is a horrible thing. There is something to say about tradition in this country.

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I am personally tired of the government telling us what we can and cannot do. I am not in favor of letting anyone in the bathroom with my 7 year old grandson and granddaughter. No matter the sex. With the way our society is going we all should be afraid. I take pepper spray into all restrooms now. How do I know if this is a women, transgender or a prevert. GOD needs to help us all, our government is full of it.

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They should book a facility that has, besides a womens and mens room, a room designated for men or women, with a single toilet and locking door. Problem solved.

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Thank you Mr. Eastman, for your public stand….

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What about the rights of women who don’t want men (which you could define as someone who still has the original male plumbing) hanging around in the women’s restroom? If you’ve got male plumbing, use the Men’s. If you’ve got female plumbing, use the Women’s.
Once you’ve had sex reassignment surgery you can use the one that matches your plumbing.
This is a thorny issue, even Bruce/Cait Jenner hasn’t yet had the courage to have the surgery, so how do we handle a guy who dresses up like a woman but wants to use the Women’s restroom? How do we make sure that this is a person with gender identity issues and not a guy with other issues?

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If the NGS feels that this is truly discrimination, they have no alternative to pulling the plug in NC. If they can find another venue in time, great. If not, cancel the conference.
If you stand for something, stand for it – even if it’s hard.

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    Genealogy has nothing to do with this. Second of all obviously majority of people in North Carolina agree with this. If you want to punish the people of North Carolina for agreeing with something, so be it, but New York is awful liberal about things and a lot of people hate New Yorkers.

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    This is for Carolyn SP. Most of the scientific studies were done by far left psychologist. Please explain Nambla if you say that they are not linked. This type of surgery is new and our laws do not have to keep conforming to the finding of flooring views of what gender is. Obviously the people of North Carolina agree with it and if you don’t like it too bad. There’s a lot of laws in New York State that I find despicable but I still live in the state and I still have to conform buy them. This type of grandstanding by these rock musicians boycotting the state is not going to change anything. There’s a reason why our country is in such a spiritual decline, and it’s because of all this blurring of identity. We supposedly live in the most liberal society we’ve ever had, and get the teen suicide rate is high. If you think there’s no correlation, you are on something.

    Liked by 1 person

Well said, Michael. An honorable stand to take, Dick. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Conscious discrimination based in hate and/or ignorant fear is a particularly despicable “evil.” Thank you both for speaking out.

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This is the problem with this country. A difference of opinion is now characterized as hate. I am sick and tired of this type of characterization. Disagreeing with somebody is not hate. Supporting Donald Trump is not being hateful. Supporting liberal or conservative views is not hateful. Liking traditional values is not hateful. Just because nature has progressed that a female can have a penis, doesn’t mean that we have to keep adjusting lost the fifth these new paradigms.

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Unless you are going to write LBGT into NGS bylaws, this issue has nothing to do with the conference. If the leaders of NGS want to take a personal stand against a NC state law then do it but don’t drag NGS into it. Check constitutional law against creating a super class of citizens. The LBGT movement tramples on other citizens rights. If NGS is going to dabble in political activism, I will leave this organization.

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Thank you fumetti 2011 and April. You have hit a home run by listing the information that I feel strongly in favor of. I do not want to be bullied by any one who has a choice and wants to push me into their life style. I have rights as much as anyone!

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fumetti: no, I’m not “on” something. I’m not going to descend to that level of insult.

Disagree all you wish — that’s our right in this country. Just, please, do it politely.

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So now I am boycotting NGS and this site for jumping into the politics of perversion. Supporting mentally I’ll perverts I will not do. Good day.

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Thank you Dick for your caring stand. I understand that NGS cannot change the venue, but I applaud NGS for making their concerns known and hopefully making the hotel and convention center uncomfortable and aware.

Unlike some of you, I have actually known several transsexuals. As people. And listened to what they had to say – not a show-off reality star, but real conflicted people. It is not a simple choice but a difficult, deep-in-the-psyche decision. Sometimes we fear what we don’t understand, so I challenge some of you to try to understand rather than condemn.

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The irony for the LBGT movement is they are leaving NO DESCENDANTS therefore stopping future interest in their genealogy. So why is NGS taking a political stand on LBGT. It is ridiculous.

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    Actually, LBGT persons do leave descendants. They use the same methods that heterosexual couples who can’t have children do, such as IVF and adoption. Do you honestly think that my husband and I aren’t worthy of genealogy because we weren’t able to have children except through IVF and adoption??? My cousin’s wife was adopted, and only now, in her early 60’s, is she able to obtain birth records and connect with her birth family; she has not only broken through her personal brick wall in genealogy, but has also met cousins online and will attend a family reunion to meet them in person.

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    Actually, when LBGT have kids through IV etc, like Melissa Etheridge,that is called “having your cake and eat it too.”

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    fumetti: No — I think it’s called creating a family. Just like those of us heterosexuals who use IVF to create a family.

    And I have no idea, nor do I care, who Melissa Etheridge is.

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Charles Manson also created a family inorganically. And anyone who does not know who Melissa Etheridge is, stop listening to your classical station and get out more.

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I would think that if the convention did not receive an iron-clad guarantee that all participants at the convention would not be subject to North Carolina police invasions that there would be no obligation to maintain a contract. Have they even tried to negotiate a cancellation?

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Let’s try to mellow-out over this. This country has bigger problems than who might be in a restroom with you. (keep your pants on until you lock the door of the stall?)

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