Source: Editorial Staff
Earlier this month, Republican lawmakers overrode Governor Cooper’s vetoes and passed a slate of anti-LGBTQ bills targeting vulnerable children. The laws include a ban on gender-affirming medical care for transgender kids, a ban on trans girls playing women’s sports, and a requirement that schools out trans kids to their parents.
“If your kid is transgender, they’re always going to be transgender, there’s nothing you can do that will make them not be transgender,” said Rowan Bilodeau, a transgender teenager from Wake County. “The only thing that this will do is make them feel unsafe, unsupported, and like something is wrong with them.”
The backlash to HB2 was swift, with actions coming from leaders in business, sports, and music. PayPal and Deutsche Bank pulled out of expansions into North Carolina, the NBA and NCAA pulled events from the state, and musicians from Bruce Springsteen to Pearl Jam canceled concerts in the state.
All in all, the disastrous HB2 law cost North Carolina an estimated $3.76 billion in economic activity before it was repealed just one year later.
Unfortunately, pushback to the recent anti-LGBTQ legislation from the business community has been relatively muted.
Earlier this summer, North Carolina was named the Top State for Business by CNBC. But with Republican lawmakers forcing the state to take a hard turn right, our place at the top should rightfully be questioned, and businesses should be taking a stand, just like they did for HB2.
It’s time for businesses to step up and make it clear that laws that target LGBTQ children make North Carolina an inhospitable place for families, students, workers, and businesses. Bilodeau and the thousands of trangender teens like him in North Carolina deserve better.