Convention recruiters report push-back over HB2
Posted July 22, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — The NBA grabbed headlines Thursday when it announced it would pull its All Star Game out of Charlotte due the controversial House Bill 2.
While the basketball league is far from the only businesses to pull an event from the state, it is far from the only one. WRAL News asked Convention and Visitors Bureaus in Raleigh, Greensboro and Asheville for emails they had received from groups that had pulled business from North Carolina due to HB2. Here is a sample of statements from groups withholding their convention business from the state.
"I'm sorry, the Society for Music Theory will not be going anywhere near your state as long as your state officials continue to discriminate against transgender individuals." – Victoria Long, Executive Director, Society for Music Theory.
"Unfortunately, due to the recent legislation passed in the NC legislature and signed by the Governor, IECA will not consider meeting in NC. We need to know that all of our attendees will be respected and considered equals under the law and we no longer feel that assurance in NC." – Mark Sklarow, CEO, Independent Educational Consultants Association.
"We are receiving communications from people both canceling or telling us they cannot come because of state or city policy forbidding use of travel funds to come to NC or they won't come on principle. As a result, we will not be entering into any future hotel contracts in Asheville until this offensive legislation is rescinded." – John Gardner, president, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.
"Due to recent legislative changes in North Carolina, and the fact that about 200 rooms within our room block are Federal Government Employees we are putting this decision on hold indefinitely. The blinded veterans association is comprised of veterans who fought to protect the rights and liberties of all citizens of the United States." – Christina Hitchcock, Conventions and Project Manager, Blinded Veterans Association.
"Overall your proposal was very strong, but at this time, ISCB cannot present a city to our board of directors that has strong laws that prohibit the freedoms of the LGBT community. It is against our code of inclusivity and we cannot in good conscience move forward with Raleigh." – Diane Kovats, Executive Director, International Society for Computational Biology.
"However, given the recent legislative changes enacted by the North Carolina governor, our group feels pretty strongly that they do not support this decision and are representing this opinion by electing to hold our conference at our alternative location – Philadelphia." – Kerri Barile, American Cultural Resources Association
"Due to the issues surrounding HB2 (NC's bathroom bill), neither Raleigh nor North Carolina are places we will consider for our conference. When/if this law changes to something that reflects the inclusivity that is one of AASLH's core aspirations, we would be glad to receive a proposal." – Bob Beatty, Chief of Engagement, American Association for State and Local History.
"Due to the North Carolina legislature's position on House Bill 2 (HB2) and the Governor's unwillingness to modify the law, our leadership will not support this Summit to be held in the state of North Carolina." – Stephanie Marshall, Director of Meetings & Learning Events, Achieving the Dream, Inc.
"I just let Dorcas know that we are no longer looking to bring meetings to North Carolina in light of recent legislation." – Janet Tipton, Director of Communications, Johnston Supply.
"I am in the process of siting an annual program for the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation for May/June 2017, and one of the initial requests was that they consider Asheville as a location. Sadly, that option was shot down because of the state's passage of recent discrimination laws, and the Executive Director asked that I pass that information along to you." – Mark Holland, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.