Bathroom bill boycotts: getting to the bottom of it

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

These days it seems you can’t turn around without hearing about another bathroom bill boycott.

It’s almost as if every rock star on the face of the planet has refused to perform in North Carolina. Several governors have banned all but essential state-funded travel there. Even the corporate world has contributed to the backlash.

Yes, the reaction to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law — known during the legislative process as House Bill 2 or HB2 — has been swift and harsh. And if a recent Huffington Post article is accurate, the “punishment” meted out by these groups has already proved costly.

Acceptable Protest Or Something Else?

Yet there is a question that remains unasked — at least in the mainstream media, where the politically correct narrative always rules the day. Is all of this economic pressure an acceptable form of protest — or is it something else? Specifically, is it an acceptable form of extortion?

In order to answer the question, we must first find the legal definition of extortion. It is: The obtaining of property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.

So by the strict reading of this definition alone, the answer is “no.” The bathroom bill boycotts cannot be classified as extortion. No property has changed hands — and as far as I can tell, there has been no “wrongful use of actual threatened force, violence or fear…”

However, an explanation of the term on thefreedictionary.com also includes the following: Other types of threats sufficient to constitute extortion include those to harm the victim’s business… Many statutes also provide that any threat to harm another person in his or her career or reputation is extortion.

Depending on how you look at it, that either muddies the waters or clarifies things a lot. We know the bathroom bill boycotts are designed to deprive North Carolina and its individual municipalities of income. One could also argue that they are designed to damage or inflict further damage on the state’s reputation. Although they are not directly targeted, North Carolina businesses are also being harmed as a result of the activity.

So based on that, the bathroom bill boycotts are an accepted form of extortion. But of course the politically correct crowd will never admit it.

It Is What It Is

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

Don’t get me wrong. Clearly discrimination against any individual or any group is unacceptable. Clearly hate and ignorance are unacceptable. Clearly people should stand up for groups that are unfairly treated.

So if you want to engage in civil disobedience, fine. If you want to organize a rally, great. If you want to start a petition, fine. If you want to write to the governor, that’s fine, too. If you usually vacation in North Carolina and you are so upset by the anti-LGBT law that you literally don’t want to go there, awesome. Cancel your reservations and go somewhere else.

If you happen to be an entertainer or a corporate mogul or a politician and you want to engage in glorified extortion, that’s your decision. Just don’t call it a bathroom bill boycott.

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