Charlotte warns that several conventions have cancelled over statewide anti-LGBT law
The city of Charlotte has warned North Carolina that it is already losing out on business due to the state’s newly passed anti-LGBT law.
Last month North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed law which voids all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, as well as permitting businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.
It was passed in response to a Charlotte local ordinance protecting transgender students who use a gender-appropriate bathroom, a protection which is now void.
The new law also bans transgender students in public schools from using their preferred bathroom.
McCrory’s decision has attracted a legal challenge as well as a growing boycott of the state, with over 100 companies slamming the decision.
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), has warned that conventions set to take place in the city had already started cancelling.
The CRVA said at least four conventions booked for charlotte have cancelled, citing the legislation as their reason for cancellation.
The organisation says that amounts to at least 1,137 hotel room bookings which will be cancelled in the city, not to mention other harder to quantify trades.
Another 29 groups, according to CRVA, have said they are now “hesitant” to book conventions in Charlotte. If they all pulled out, that would amount to 89,723 hotel room bookings.
Last week the CRVA released this statement: “We are extremely concerned about the state legislation in place as we continue to hear negative feedback and potential event cancellations from our customers. Our city has worked incredibly hard to build a thriving visitor economy over the last 20 years, which has welcomed major events and conventions that greatly give back to the city and the state of North Carolina’s economy and overall quality of life. This issue is in danger of setting us back from the progress we’ve made in positioning Charlotte as an attractive, inclusive destination.
“Our city has long had a track record of creating an environment that not only values diversity, but strongly embraces it. On behalf of the visitor economy that represents one in nine jobs across the Charlotte region, we strongly urge that state and local leaders find a resolution that represents the best interests of our city and state.”
Supporters of the bill, which basically allows discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and which bans local laws protecting LGBT people, have accused Burce Springsteen of using “bully tactics” after he cancelled a concert set for this Sunday in Greensboro, NC.
But a much longer list of celebrities and fans have taken to social media to praise The Boss for his decision to take a stand.
After Springsteen’s announcement, the guitarist from the E Street Band Steven Van Zandt said North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law is like an “evil virus” in explaining why their concert was cancelled for this Sunday.