Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Popular Porn Site Bans All Users In North Carolina Because Of State\'s Anti-LGBT Law

Popular Porn Site Bans All Users In North Carolina Because Of State's Anti-LGBT Law

The Debrief: Porn giant XHamster.com has joined Bruce Springsteen, PayPal, Facebook, Apple and Google in challenging North Carolina's anti-LGBT legislation

Over on the other side of the pond in North Carolina, also known as the ‘Tar Heel State’, an anti-LGBT law has become the subject of much controversy and, now, international attention. Bruce Springsteen and PayPal have waded in to protest, and now, they’ve been joined by porn site XHamster.com who have banned access to their website from all computers in the state, meaning that anyone with a North Carolina IP address who’s trying to watch porn will be seeing no more than a blank screen.

The law at the centre of this row is called House Bill 2 (HB2), which was passed on March 23. Effectively, it prevents cities and counties in the state from passing rules that protect LGBT rights.

One of the things that has outraged people the most about this law is that it has prevented legislation being passed which would allow trans people to use bathrooms that correspond with the gender they identify as. However, it also affects any proposed measures intended to ensure equal pay. Critics argue that this discriminates against gay and transgender people in the state while supporters maintain that it defends ‘religious liberty’ and ‘protects girls in public restrooms, ABC reports.

In response to the state’s move to block pro-LGBT legislation in the future Bruce Springsteen cancelled a sold out show and issued a statement on April 8th which read:

‘As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have cancelled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.’

PayPal also halted plans to open a new operations centre in North Carolina, which would have bought 400 additional jobs to the state, because of the law. Facebook, Apple and Google, among other tech companies, have also called on North Carolina to repeal the law.

Joining these big hitters, porn giant XHamster.com has said that their blocking of the site in North Carolina will remain until the state repeals House Bill 2.

XHamster.com told The Debrief about their commitment to fighting for LGBT rights and implied that their in house statistics show that North Carolinians might be more open minded than their law makers:

'Our goal is to fight for the equality for everyone and we will stand our ground. Everybody has a right to their own sexuality and xHamster is there to love and support people the way they are. We know what it means to be hypocritically labelled by the society. Some politicians won't walk the walk they talk. All the fuss about moral values being destroyed by porn is ridiculous when checking the statistics on the porn consumption state-on-state, including North Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee. There are hypocrites who don't practice what they preach. Respecting others sexuality may not come easy, but this is something we must all work together to address. Porn can't be blamed for everything, as well as the LGBT community. This was the reason behind the access restriction to our website in the state of North Carolina. Naturally, we are not aimed at banning the access to xHamster in North Carolinians for ever. We blacked out the access to our website because we wanted to draw attention of millions of people to patterns of human rights violations, and we are glad that our voice has been heard across the globe. Make love and watch porn!'

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Tags: Tech, Porn