A Popular Adult Website Is Standing Up for LGBTQ Rights In North Carolina

In recent weeks, news of conservative laws being enacted in southern states have made news within the LGBTQ movement. In North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory has been the target of criticism after he signed into law a bill which would force transgendered men and women to use restrooms which match the sex assigned at birth. The same bill – House Bill 2 or HB2 –¬†also strips LGBTQ people of any claim to discrimination complaints or lawsuits, meaning no longer could a gay North Carolina couple sue a bakery for its refusal to sell them a wedding cake, for example. In the wake of McCrory’s legislation, many public figures have come forth to decry the law as clear bigotry; even Bruce Springsteen has canceled a North Carolina performance in protest, and New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo banned state travel to North Carolina in a show of solidarity for LGBTQ rights. However, a similar announcement from a much more popular figure used by millions of people millions of times a day may prove to be the most noteworthy.

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XHamster.com has taken a stance of its own, blocking IP addresses in North Carolina from accessing any of the pornography it offers. Mike Kulich, a spokesman for the website, recently told the Huffington Post that his company’s decision is based not only on the fact that equality for everyone is something the company culture believes in, but that North Carolinians have proven to enjoy non-hetero porn, and that state legislators and the governor are effectively telling their citizens that their sexual proclivities and interests are illegal. “Back in March, we had 400,000 hits for the term ‘Transsexual’ from North Carolina alone,” Kulich says. “Judging by the stats of what you North Carolinians watch, we feel [HB2] is a severe [punishment]. We will not standby and pump revenue into a system that promotes this type of garbage. We respect all sexualities and embrace them.”

Considering the ubiquity of online porn – it’s on our computers, our phones, our tablets – there may be room to argue that taking away something so many of us indulge in may be an effective way to galvanize support in the repealing of HB2. Of course, North Carolinians have plenty of options when it comes to other sources for free porn, but those who logged on to XHamster this week and were greeted with nothing but a blank screen may now be educated about an issue which may otherwise have slipped their radars. Kulich has said that North Carolinians will continue to be blocked from accessing XHamster’s content until the law is repealed, so it seems the battle has only just begun. However, as the New York Times reported earlier today, Governor McCrory has already begun to walk back some of HB2’s provisions, although there’s no word on whether the porn embargo played any role.

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