Last month, a March 23rd special session North Carolina’s General Assembly proposed and passed House Bill 2 (HB2), or the “bathroom bill” and Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law that same night. The new law excludes LGBT people from nondiscrimination protection and prevents public restroom use based on gender identity rather than biological sex. The law was a response to On Feb. 22, Charlotte, N.C., passed an ordinance by the city of Charlotte, passed on Feb. 22, that expanded North Carolina’s antidiscrimination laws so that LGBT people would also be granted protection in places of “public accommodation” — which, among other things, would allow transgender people to use the bathrooms of the gender they identify as. This ordinance was to have gone in effect on April 1. There were other provisions to HB2, but the focus of news coverage has been on its exclusion of the LGBT population from nondiscrimination protect and the bathroom issue.
As a result of HB2 (there is as a similar statute that was enacted in Mississippi), a number of individuals, organizations and businesses have announced a boycott of North Carolina. Even the National Basketball Association has announced that it would not hold its 2017 All Star game in Charlotte, N.C. unless the law is repealed. There is also considerable opposition to HB2 within the state’s travel and tourism industry, as hotels, attractions and restaurants have suffered losses in the millions because of the boycott; as well, local governments face the prospect of reduced tax revenues levied through hotel occupancy and other taxes.
An account of the impact of HB2 and the role of the travel and tourism industry in opposition to the measure has appeared in the New York Times. We share it with you here: