Bathroom Bills Are Damaging the Economy; NBA, NCAA Cancel Events Over Discriminatory Law
Feb 23, 2017 05:56 AM EST
While North Carolina remains the only state to have passed the “Bathroom Bill” as an actual law, 12 more states are in line to pass similar bills. Bathroom bills require an individual to use facilities, such as restrooms and locker rooms, based on the gender stated on their birth certificate. It is then a crime for transgender people to use such facilities for the gender with which they identify.
Bathroom bills are typically used by state governments to put a limit to other laws intended for the protection of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The Texas Senate Bill 6, termed as the “Texas Privacy Act” by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, defines biological sex as the sex indicated on the individual’s birth certificate. It will be considered a crime if a person uses the facilities of the opposite sex.
The Texas Privacy Act removes local governments’ authority in issuing non-discriminatory ordinances to counter the effects of the bathroom bill. Supporters of such legislation assert that it will contribute to the prevention of sexual male predators posing as women in females’ bathrooms, although experts pointed out there is no evidence that backs such claim.
However, laws such as the bathroom bill have been causing more damage to cities’ economies than expected. Since North Carolina enacted the HB2, its own bathroom bill, the state has experienced a cancellation of multiple high-profile events. The NBA’s 2017 All-Star Game has a new venue in New Orleans while the NCAA has threatened to cancel its future championship games in the state if the law is not repealed.
This week, Visit Charlotte issued an official statement about losing 11 conferences and major meetings as well as three sports because of the bathroom bill. Due to the cancellations, the state has already lost $83.9 million in direct spending relating to the said events. According to the Charlotte Observer, the North Carolina senate and house has offered a new proposal for legislation that would repeal its bathroom bill.
Texas could be faced with similar circumstances following the NFL’s statement about the state’s discriminatory bathroom bill. “If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events,” NFL said.