HIGH POINT, N.C. — Parrish Clodfelter, a 79-year-old retiree who lives on a central North Carolina farm, professes opinions about transgender people that might get him fired if he worked for a multinational corporation, though for many here, they constitute simple country wisdom.
“A man wants to change to a woman, he’s got a mental problem,” Mr. Clodfelter said on Wednesday over lunch at Spiro’s Family Restaurant, where posters by the door advertised classes on carrying concealed weapons and a “Hillbilly Sunday” Pentecostal church service.
But Mr. Clodfelter has a different kind of problem. As a longtime Republican, he wants to support Pat McCrory, North Carolina’s Republican governor, in his re-election bid. At the same time, Mr. Clodfelter is worried about the boycotts and lost jobs resulting from the law the governor signed in March that limits transgender bathroom access and eliminates antidiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people.
If the backlash continues, Mr. Clodfelter said, he will consider voting for Mr. McCrory’s Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper, who supports the law’s repeal.
“I’m afraid if they don’t change it,” he said, “it’ll hurt the state.”
Mr. Clodfelter, "it'll" has already sailed. The damage done is in many ways, permanent. The notion that North Carolina is a progressive state even with political differences has now become a myth. Closed-minded nothingness. The new state of North Carolina.