North Carolina conferences continue to pull out over anti-GLBT law

By John Mack Freeman

Despite a continuing press offensive by Governor Pat McCrory, organizations and businesses are continuing to cancel conferences or reconsider plans to host events in North Carolina. This week, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation cancelled a potential 7 year contract in Asheville that would have been worth $1.5 million annually because of the law. Additionally, the American Institute of Architects will not hold its South Atlantic Region Conference in Wilmington this fall. About 500 architects were expected to attend, and tourism officials estimate the loss at almost $1 million.

This is in addition to even more performers cancelling North Carolina dates, rights holders for shows like West Side Story and Wicked saying they won’t license performances in the state, and the NCAA passing new rules saying it won’t sanction special events in state’s with discriminatory practices.

Despite this, a bill to repeal the law that has bee introduced is going nowhere in the legislature. It has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee for consideration. The only problem is that that three-person panel has not met in the last several years and is a common place for legislation to be sent to die. So, all things considered, North Carolina can probably expect even more cancellations in the weeks and months to come.


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