HB2’s economic impact in NC examined in VICE News Tonight report
Even though House Bill 2 has cost North Carolina’s economy millions of dollars, nine more states are using the legislation as a blueprint for similar laws, a segment on HBO’s VICE News Tonight reports.
The report aired on Thursday focused on the law known nationally as the “bathroom bill,” and talked about how businesses and event organizers have decided to go elsewhere in its wake. Correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro reports that so far in 2017 nine states, including South Carolina, Missouri, Illinois, Washington, Texas and Kentucky, have introduced bills similar to HB2.
The economic impact of HB2 has reached about $450 million in the state, the report said, citing PolitiFact North Carolina.
Santoro talks to state Rep. Chaz Beasley, a Charlotte Democrat, and William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, to hear about how they’re pushing for repeal of the measure, which limits local anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and requires transgender people in government facilities to use the bathroom matching their birth certificate. The segment didn’t include interviews with HB2 supporters.
Barber has said he intends to ask the national NAACP to call for a national economic boycott of North Carolina until the law is repealed. Barber said his group will request the boycott stand until fair election districts are drawn and new laws limiting the power of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper are rolled back.
Barber said he has heard from some who have said that a boycott could hurt the very people it would try to help, but that he believes the special session in December that aimed unsuccessfully at repealing HB2 indicates the economic pressure is working.
“What we know is that oftentimes people who are not moved by morality are moved when moral people hold their money,” Barber said.
Beasley said he agrees that HB2 must go, but disagrees with Barber’s decision to call for an economic boycott.
“The way that we make North Carolina successful is by, you know, repealing HB2,” Beasley siad. “But, at the same time, I am clearly not rooting for North Carolina to be hurt economically in any way, shape or form.”
The report highlights Georgia Republican Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of a proposal that would have allowed religious organizations to deny services citing “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” Deal killed the bill after criticism from LGBT groups and from business interests that threatened to take their money elsewhere if the bill became law.