Now add California to the list of places and people not doing business in North Carolina because of the disastrous HB2, the bill that restricts transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify and opens the way for discrimination based on sexual orientation. The law continues to take a serious toll on the state’s reputation and its ability to do business.
On that score, more than a dozen investors representing funds with more than $2 trillion in assets gathered in downtown Raleigh earlier this week to warn Gov. Pat McCrory and the state legislature that North Carolina is facing damage unless the law is repealed.
“Quite simply, HB2 is bad for business and investors do not support legislation that limits discrimination protections and hampers the ability of our companies to offer open and productive workplaces and communities,” the group said in a statement, “As long-term investors in North Carolina, we seek a predictable, stable business climate where our portfolio companies can thrive. HB2 is undermining that basic condition for sound investment.”
The author of the bill banning official travel to North Carolina by California state agencies, an assemblyman named Evan Low, said, “Our zero-tolerance policy says there is no room for discrimination of any kind in California, and (this bill) ensures that discrimination will not be tolerated beyond our borders.” California is the sixth state to ban such travel to North Carolina.
And these announced developments don’t include the various organizations that steer conventions and conferences and meetings to various places around the country. It’s likely North Carolina is simply not on those lists anymore. In addition, a recent poll shows a majority of respondents nationwide believe transgender people should use the bathroom of their choice.
Meanwhile, McCrory and GOP lawmakers are keeping the chips firmly on their shoulders and blame others for the misery they have inflicted on North Carolina’s economy and reputation.
GOP legislators are simply being stubborn and petulant, and while they might have flirted with ways to get out of the HB2 mess they created, they’re likely going to stand pat in the quicksand of their mistake. One, they don’t want to admit they’re wrong; two, most of the HB2 losses have affected the state’s big cities, and the General Assembly’s leaders don’t care about the cities.
There is one solution to this ongoing fiasco. The law must be repealed, or North Carolina can expect more economic body blows and humiliation.