The Corner

Law & the Courts

How Not to Fight North Carolina’s New Religious Liberty Laws

Opponents of North Carolina’s new religious liberty law have concocted a cunning plan, almost guaranteed to yield the measure’s repeal. The Huffington Post reports:

There’s a new kink in North Carolina’s LGBT controversy: A popular porn website is banning all computers from “The Tar Heel State.”

XHamster.com has been refusing to serve anyone from North Carolina since 12:30 p.m. EDT, Monday.

Instead, users with a North Carolina IP address are just seeing a black screen on their computer — no porn.

The extreme measures will stay in place until North Carolina repeals House Bill 2, a law passed on March 23 that effectively prevents cities and counties in the state from passing rules that protect LGBT rights.

See? Now that North Carolinians can’t get pornography, they’ll be sure to march on the legislature and insist that the law is repe—wait, that can’t be it. The Internet is absolutely chock full of porn, and “XHamster” is only hurting its own market share by blocking access to its website in a state of ten million people.

Ah, I know: Now that the state’s Evangelical Christians have few pornography choices, they’ll be sure to call their representatives and demand that th—wait, that can’t be it either. Evangelical Christians don’t like pornography.

Got it! Now that everybody in the state is being “punished” for the actions of the religious, they will be able to offer killer arguments against the bill’s survival — arguments certain to convince religious people, such as “your insistence on the protection of your religious liberty is costing us our access to a small portion of the thousands of terabytes of pornography on the Inter”—wait, that still doesn’t sound right.

If ever there were a perfect example of futile “virtue signaling” (ahem), it is this. How, exactly, does XHamster.com think its ransom is going to work? Is there a critical mass of North Carolinians who will be prepared to march into the public square and demand loudly that their favorite pornography site be returned to them? And if there is, is there any group that is less likely to be convinced by a such an display than the devout? I can almost hear the response now: “So you’re telling us that we get solid conscience protections and the voluntary removal of some of the smut on the Internet? Fantastic!”

One has to wonder which briar patches the bill’s opponents will throw their enemies into next. Perhaps Planned Parenthood will refuse to perform abortions until the measure is nixed?

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