Letters to the editor – Wednesday – 5-4-16

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gender sometimes is not as clearcut as many think

House Bill 2 has been so much in the news of late it would seem to be worn to a frazzle. It is a complex problem because it involves many things, sensitive to many people. The constitutional, political and religious aspects that have been beaten to death.

There has been a lot said about facts, not fear, but no one seems willing to talk about what is really known about biology, as it is understood today. Sex has always been something that Americans have trouble dealing with and talking about. We even had a period of time recently where the big advice on sex was to “Just say NO!”

Scientists have come a long way in the study of what happens in the reproductive system beyond the discovery of genes, double helix and chromosomes back in the 1950s. Studies have recently led to the concept that certain genes considered to be nonfunctional and therefore useless is false. Studies of births have found surprises, such as 1 percent to 1.7 percent of humans born are intersex, or what we used to call hermaphrodite. Though it may seem like a small number, it is not when there are thousands of births each year and 7 billion people on the face of the earth.

Add to those numbers the mutations of genetic possibilities created by the fact the determination of sex is not just X or Y chromosome. There are releases of certain hormones by the mother at different times in pregnancy which may change the sexual genetics of a child.

For more information on the complexity of gender see “N.C. pediatric specialists call HB2 ‘flawed’ and ‘harmful’” from the Charlotte Observer of April 21, originally from the Raleigh News & Observer. It means the idea of sexual orientation is probably not just a choice on the part of the person but is like the color of their hair or eyes. It is something integral as part of a person and that is why programs to shame people to change are useless.

In a recent census, 3.3 percent of the population responded as being LGBT. The figure on transgender is set at 0.3 percent. With 10 million population in North Carolina, it means we have a LGBT population of around 330,000 citizens. It is time to give equal rights and recognition to these humans.

— Donald Tracy


Commissioners’ crazy talk

The writer is responding to a Tuesday article, “Party foul? Proposed lease for local GOP sets Republican county commissioners at odds.”

Chairman Edds may consider the criticism “crazy talk.” The business community considers it simple economics.

When Craig Pierce uses the rationalization of high rents and lack of parking downtown vs. government-subsidized lower rental rates and parking the West End Plaza, he seeks to undermine market rate development and promotes disinvestment. A building is only worth what you can get for it in rent. Private developers and property owners can’t compete with government subsidized commercial real estate. The county is undermining one of its largest tax bases. Now that is crazy.

— Michael Young