All the Business N.C. Has Lost Because of Anti-LGBT Bill
By Yezmin Villarreal
Passing an anti-LGBT bill has not been profitable for North Carolina.
Since North Carolina passed an anti-LGBT bill March 23, the backlash from businesses and entertainers has been swift. Corporations have canceled expansions in the state, therefore scrapping jobs that they were planning to offer, in protest of House Bill 2.
HB 2 struck down LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinances in cities and counties statewide, and prohibits cities from adopting any new ones. It also expressly requires transgender people to use public bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match their gender identity.
On Tuesday, N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory issued an executive order that made limited changes to HB 2. The order affirms that private businesses and nonprofit groups can establish their own policies for restroom facilities, something that was not affected by the law but has been the subject of some confusion.
McCrory’s action also affirms that private businesses, nonprofits, and local governments can establish their own employment nondiscrimination policies — for their own workers. And it expands the state’s employment nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity — that is, for state employees.
McCrory said he will also seek legislation allowing workers to sue in state court for discrimination, something that was explicitly barred by HB 2.
The canceled business expansions and events are listed below.
Ringo Starr announced today the cancellation of his show scheduled for June 18 in protest of HB 2. In a press release, Starr says that he “stands with those fighting against the bigotry of HB 2.” He apologized to his fans, saying, “I’m sorry to dissapoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love.”
On Tuesday, Deutsche Bank announced it was canceling a planned expansion of its operations in Cary, which is near Raleigh, the state capital. The expansion would have added 250 jobs; 900 people are already employed at the Cary facility.
Last week, PayPal announced it canceled plans to open a new global payment center in Charlotte, which was expected to bring 400 new jobs to the city.
Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert that was to be held last Sunday in Greensboro because of his opposition to HB 2. “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,” he said in a statement.
Thirteen planned conventions and events in Charlotte have been canceled in response to the state’s anti-LGBT bill. And 29 more groups are on a “hesitant/concerned list,” reports The Charlotte Observer.
The New York Times notes that the state could lose billions of dollars in federal funding for schools, highways, and housing.
Eight cities and four states have banned publicly funded employee travel to the state.
Lionsgate canceled an eight-day production shoot in response to the bill.
The Tony-award winning Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz and his collaborators halted all productions of Wicked in the state in protest.
Ten U.S. mayors formed a pro-LGBT coalition to put economic pressure on states such as North Carolina. Along with working together to ban travel to states that pass anti-LGBT legislation, the mayors will coordinate to examine “prohibitions on contracting and purchasing from companies in these states,” along with developing “model resolutions that can be adopted by city councils and other legislative bodies” across the country.