Schellenberger, Kerry

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  • Publication
    House Bill 2 & The Backlash: A Story Of Frames
    (2018-03-31) Schellenberger, Kerry
    While over 20 states considered so-called bathroom bills between 2013-2016, only one state, North Carolina, passed one - in the form of House Bill 2. House Bill 2 modified North Carolina’s non-discrimination legislation, as well as restricting access to multi-user restrooms on the basis of sex designated on one’s birth certificate, which would require some transgender men to use the women’s restroom. The debate between those for and against HB2 raged in the press, the legal system, and finally at the ballot box. An analysis of the first two months of coverage indicates how frames were used by each side in different areas and over time. This paper demonstrates how the Pro side majorly focused on one frame, Safety, whereas the Anti side spread out their arguments across several different frames. Additionally, it shows how outside events, such as a letter from the federal Department of Justice and announcements of business boycotts, can impact which frames are relevant and to whom.