On Thursday, we reported on two employees at Durham’s Guglhupf who walked out after owner Claudia Cooper removed the signs they affixed to the bathrooms proclaiming, “All Gender Identities & Expressions Welcome” in protest of House Bill 2. Some commenters thought we were picking on Cooper, who has said that building codes force her to “maintain separate and gender-specific facilities by laws, irrespective of HB 2.”
Duramite writes: “Of all places to use as a poster child, why Guglhupf? I don’t think you have done your homework! I was the general contractor for the Guglhupf Cafe building when I built the place for them thirteen years ago. … Because of the nuance in the various codes as they exist and relate to the subject, the bathrooms cannot be made unisex.”
Adds Charlie Deal, a managing member of Juju, Jujube, and Dos Perros: “How … are those with multiuse bathrooms supposed to fit this narrowing view of appropriate facilities? Spend the tens of thousands of dollars ripping them out and replacing them with a bunch of single-use roomsassuming, of course, that there’s enough room to do that and still have enough toilets per total restaurant seats to meet code? Or is it not your job to point out the glaring difficulties with Claudia’s position and just to stir up the poop, publicly shaming someone who is essentially on your side and just trying to figure out what to do?”
“Take your anger about HB 2 to the governor and the General Assembly!” argues starfuryomega. “We have not even had a chance to breathe and understand the scope of this insane and disastrous law, and already people are looking to target local businesses that don’t immediately comply with emotionally charged demands. Claudia was only trying to comply with what she believed the law to be, and there is absolutely no evidence that she had any intentions otherwise.”
But not everyone was so sympathetic to Cooper’s plight: “Sometimes leaders have no time to sort out the intricacies of an issue,” writes Andrew Imlay, “but this law has no relevant intricacies. It is unapologetically vile. This is obvious even to the most casual news consumer. HB 2 invitesdemandscivil disobedience. If it applies to me, I defy it. Period. I need no time to consider anything further. … This should have been a no-brainer, and I’m deeply disappointed, having patronized Guglhupf so much over the years that my family gives me and my husband Guglhupf gift certificates as a matter of course. My husband and I will have to find another fine restaurant to commend to my family, which is just a shame.”
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