Reynolds Mansion Response to House Bill 2

Billy & Mike

 

 

To All Our Guests, Future Guests, Friends, and Family,

After several inquiries, cancellations, and national and worldwide coverage I felt it was now time for Reynolds Mansion to comment on the North Carolina House Bill 2 (HB2).  As innkeepers Mike and I tend to keep our personal views on religion and politics away from the breakfast table, we respect the diversity and views of all of our guests.

On March 23, 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 2 (HB2). This bill overtly discriminates against LGBT people and goes further by cutting back on protection against discrimination for anyone in the state. HB2 does this by:

  • Refusing to understand the complexity of the lives of transgender persons and criminalizing non-problematic behavior by members only of that community;
  • Overturning the local passage of laws by the city of Charlotte to allow transgender persons to use the gender-specific facilities matching their identities, and requiring all people to use facilities according to the biological sex listed on their birth certificates;
  • Preventing cities and counties from establishing ordinances extending protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender persons, while making no effort to call for protection at the state level;
  • Making it more difficult for people who are being discriminated against for reasons of race, age, sex, religion or disability to take legal action by making them take their cases to federal court instead of to the state;
  • Discriminating against the working poor by restricting a community’s ability to demand that contractors raise minimum wages to living wages and pay for vacation and sick leave.

 

In the weeks since the passing of HB2 the response against HB2, in North Carolina and around the world, there is evidence that this bill affects the lives of more than a few people using the bathroom; it touches on the ongoing struggle for equality.

As independent business owners and also having the responsibility of bearing the costs of maintaining this historic home, when North Carolina passed this law it reached into the very pockets of not only us, but all the business owners in Asheville a community that thrives mainly off tourism dollars.

In the case for Reynolds Mansion it also affects us on a personal level as well.  Mike and I invite into our home and to our table a diverse, eclectic, and wonderful group of individuals, many of who return again and again to visit this special part of North Carolina and consider “our home their home.  They become in a sense part of our family.

As the caretaker of Reynolds Mansion I am saddened and embarrassed that I should be compelled to post this sort of blog on the website, but there are many who do not know of us or they are not familiar with Reynolds Mansion.  Built during a time where the very builders of this magnificent home weren’t even allowed to enter its doors, those days are no more, ALL is welcome here.  The very essence of the HB2 law reminds us of the ignorance and misconceptions that many people still possess, it also enlightens us how far we still have to reach for equality for all.

Reynolds Mansion has survived through many obstacles since 1847, it will certainly survive this tribulation……..Understand This……. “Reynolds Mansion, its owners, and staff oppose any laws supporting discrimination against anyone by race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, genetic information or disability.”

Billy Sanders