North Carolina Economy Already Seeing Devastating Effects From Anti-LGBT Law

Despite what many within the Republican party might actually believe, it’s 2016 – not 1956. Though I wouldn’t fault you for thinking otherwise based upon many of the social policies the party still supports.

For example, their archaic view on homosexuality.

Sure, not all that long ago being gay was frowned upon by most of the country. Even as recently as 2008, Gallup only showed 40 percent of Americans in favor of legalized gay marriage. Though their most recent poll from May 2015 showed support for legalized same-sex marriage at 60 percent – a 20 point jump in just seven years. While homosexuals still have a very long way to go before they’ll truly be treated equally under our laws, it’s clear to any rational person that being gay is becoming much more accepted in this country.

But despite this reality, that hasn’t stopped some Republicans from doing just about anything they can to continue to treat gay Americans as second-class citizens. Perhaps the most brazen of these efforts has been seen in these new anti-LGBT laws that have been passed throughout the country. What these laws do, like the one recently passed in North Carolina, is they basically allow blatant discrimination against homosexuals. Essentially all a business owner has to do is claim “it’s against my religion” and they can flat-out refuse service to a gay person or couple.

It’s absurd. This is not about religion, it’s about bigotry and ignorance.

Well, in life we learn quickly the rule of “cause and effect.” And it seems the new anti-LGBT law in North Carolina is already producing some rather devastating economic effects.

According to The News and Observer

A report released by Wake County’s leading tourism agency on Monday says that the county has lost more than $700,000 in response to the controversial House Bill 2 – and could lose millions more.

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that four groups have canceled plans to hold events in Wake because of HB2, which some say discriminates against the transgender community, gays and lesbians.

The visitors bureau reported that 16 other groups, the names of which it didn’t disclose, also are reconsidering plans to hold events in Wake County. The groups would bring a combined 73,500 people to the area and infuse an estimated $24 million into the local economy, the report says.

The biggest: an undisclosed sports tournament that would bring an estimated 51,000 people and $4.5 million in spending to the area each year. Raleigh was expected to be in the bidding process for a four-year contract, the bureau said, but event organizers are now “monitoring the situation” with HB2.

This all added to an earlier report that President Obama was considering withholding billions of dollars in federal aid in response to the passage of the bill.

Keep in mind that this is all happening just a couple of weeks after the law was signed by the governor. I fully believe as time goes on North Carolina is going to face even more economic hardships as businesses, sporting events and other highly profitable sources of revenue for the state begin to vanish or even leave the state altogether. Over just a few years that could equate to billions in lost revenue for local businesses and communities. To say nothing about the companies that might leave the state due to this highly discriminatory law.

While I feel bad for the people who are caught in the middle of this fiasco, I’m glad that there are already signs that North Carolina is facing some very harsh backlash over its efforts to legally discriminate against members of the LGBT community. Because society needs to make it clear to Republicans that these laws, while acceptable within their circle of ignorance, are no longer acceptable in today’s society.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • strayaway

    Women’s bathrooms afford women privacy and safety. Having a third, single user bathroom for changing diapers, the handicapped, and guys who feel like women might be a good idea for those groups and plumbers and lawyers but allowing men into women’s bathrooms is anti-women.

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    • Beaugrand_RTMC

      Right, let’s burden the small business with the expense of installing a third, unnecessary bathroom, saddle them with the expense of monitoring who uses which bathroom (because heaven forbid a business owner fail to be in compliance with this VERY bad law), and while we’re at it, let’s further increase the size, scope, and expense of government by police [or special “bathroom enforcement officers”] monitoring bathroom use, and by making sure business owners are enforcing the rules.

      • Justin

        ….. or they could just have 2 unisex bathrooms, retard.

      • Beaugrand_RTMC

        You really don’t understand how stupid laws cost businesses and consumers, do you, turd? How are you going to make a 2 or 3 or 4-stall restroom into “unisex?” That takes MONEY, you stupid shit, and it eats into profits, and increases prices, you idiot.Go back to playing video games in your Momma’s basement.

    • Alyfox

      “Women’s bathrooms afford women privacy and safety.” As a trans-woman this is all I want too. Privacy and safety.

      • strayaway

        “Women’s bathrooms afford women privacy and safety.” Women don’t have penises. If you are a man who ‘thinks’ he/she is a woman in the wrong body, why don’t you just avail yourself to one of the stalls with the privacy doors in the men’s roof? It’s no different than the same stall in the women’s room. Its that or not protecting girls and women from men who pretend to be transgender to take advantage of women. If a 250# truck driver walked into a women’s room at interstate rest stop, I don’t want any of my female relatives to have to follow him/her in there no matter if the driver considers himself to be transgender. He/she isn’t going to be bothered in the men’s room. No one in the men’s room cares what goes on in the toilet stalls. Am I missing something or are you being narcissistic?

      • Alyfox

        Thanks to the wonders of science and technology (IE SRS) I lack said penis, and dont really look much like a male anymore. Yet, I am still transgender.

      • strayaway

        That’s the ticket.

      • Justin

        I’m confused about whether you think it’s A) unsafe to have a penis or B) womens bathrooms are impenetrable fortresses akin to being on ‘goal’ whilst playing kick-the-can.

      • strayaway

        What I wrote was clear. “Women’s bathrooms afford women privacy and safety.”Your response is kind of weird. Most societies afford women protection against stray men. How women reacted to a guy claiming to be transgendered. – see YouTube video “Transgender in Women’s Bathroom (Social Experiment)”