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Local students, business owners say cancellations over HB2 are taking a toll

Posted May 23

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— As the national debate over LGBT rights and North Carolina's House Bill 2 continues, many businesses and even Triangle-area high school students say they are suffering from the growing number of cancellations by high-profile musicians.

The wide-reaching law that directs transgender people to use the public bathroom that aligns with the sex on their birth certificate was signed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in March. Since then, Pearl Jam, violinist Itzhak Perlman, Ringo Starr, Cirque Du Soleil and others have canceled.

On Friday, the pop group Maroon 5 became the latest entertainer to decide to skip the state. McCrory, who has sued the Justice Department over its directive allowing transgender students to use their preferred bathroom, has continued his support of the law.

Many high school booster programs and athletic programs in central and eastern North Carolina contract with venues such as PNC Arena to work concession stands during games and concerts.

In most cases, some of the money made at those concession stands goes to fund extracurricular programs at area schools. The money can offset the burden for many parents who are often paying $1,000 or more for their kids to participate in activities such as swimming or band.

But when artists don't show up, neither does the money.

West Johnston High School's band, which has been working a stand at PNC Arena for more than a decade, lost out on thousands of dollars when Pearl Jam, Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas canceled upcoming shows.

Parent association president Karen Pickering says she understands why some artists want to make political statements, but she says she also wants musicians to know the true consequences of their cancellations.

"It's frustrating. I don't think even the stars involved realize they're making a political stance, but they're also affecting our kids," Pickering said. "And it's music programs and things kids really count on that have been cut. We had to buy all new tubas this year because we've literally been duct taping our tubas together."

Pickering says West Johnston High has lost $4,000, money that would have funded uniforms for the fall season. That cost burden will now fall to parents.

"A lot of parents are a little bit panicky right now," Pickering said.

Business owner Cindy Baucom says she is suffering, too. She runs a catering business, and she says she was loading up a trailer full of food to feed Bruce Springsteen's entourage after his show at Greensoro Coliseum when the "Boss" announced he wasn't coming. Baucom said Springsteen reimbursed her the costs of what she'd spent, but the loss of business has a trickle-down affect for her employees.

"My people have light bills to pay, they have food to put on the table, and they aren't being taken care of," Baucom said.


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  • Roger Clements May 24, 4:46 p.m.
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    Oh no, there's no harm with transgenders using public restrooms.

    5 Times ‘Transgender’ Men Abused Women And Children In Bathrooms http://www.dailywire.com/news/5190/5-times-transgender-men-abused-women-and-children-amanda-prestigiacomo

    Sexual predator jailed after claiming to be ‘transgender’ to assault women in shelter https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/sexual-predator-jailed-after-claiming-to-be-transgender-in-order-to-assault’

    Police Beef Up Patrols After Man Sexually Assaults 2 Boys in Park Bathrooms in South Bay

    The threat to women and girls presented by transgender “bathroom bills”

    Man undresses in front of girls in Seattle locker room, cites “Gender Identity” regulation

  • Roger Clements May 24, 4:27 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    "- no one has the right to FORCE their religious standards on another."

    This is one of my favorite idiotic quotes. This issue has absolutely nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with safety.

    No one has the right to push their notion of what gender is on others - especially when it has been settled by nature for eons.

  • Roger Clements May 24, 4:24 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Problem is one is not always with their kids to help them avoid harm. And about that rattlesnake, they're pretty good at hiding on you until it's too late.

  • Roger Clements May 24, 4:22 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Your very first sentence defeats your own argument. Yes, you will be asked for your ID and state your business. That's because children are at a greater risk of being harmed today than ever before in the modern era.

    When you and I were growing up, there were fire drills, not LOCK DOWN drills. Depending upon where you grew up there were tornado alerts, not AMBER alerts.

    Our children are increasingly sexualized by a liberal mass media culture run by aging rebellious and nihilistic baby boomers. Never before has youth been so exploited by the likes of the once innocent Disney Corp. to child pornographers let loose on the internet.

    And now we have this Transgender movement putting boys and girls and even young adults at risk for molestation and who knows what else, just for the sake they they, the transgenders, can feel better about their gender identity confusion.

    Anyone who is against HB2 should be ashamed of themselves!

  • Melvin Denis May 24, 2:04 p.m.
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    Try and just walk into a school and you will be stopped at the door asked for ID & to sign in and state your business. You as a child growing up didn’t need this bill to protect you & your children don’t need it now.

  • Melvin Denis May 24, 2:01 p.m.
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    There is no problem to solve in the bathrooms. All this tax money is being spent to defend a law that can’t be enforced and has no penalties if you violate it. This money is going to lawyer cohorts of politician who probably get some of it under the table. I have not read of all these cases of transgender people attacking children & adults in ladies rooms. I have read of many cases of the clergy and people on the sex offender list assaulting women and children especially including young boys. Who is protecting young boys? Maybe there instead should be a law banning clergy & sex offenders from public bathrooms. Sex offenders avoid assaulting in public places because they can too easily be caught in the act. The answer is that parents are responsible for going into public restrooms to protect their children. If they can’t enter than they instruct their kids to scream if bothered & stand outside the door. Try and just walk into a school and you will be stopped at the door asked for ID

  • George Herbert May 24, 1:50 p.m.
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    Yes, some big names have cancelled. Some big names haven't. Some of those who have performed or are still planning on performing are making statements against HB2 in other ways--from the stage and with contributions to groups fighting against HB2. I can see the validity of both forms of protest.

    Perlman decided to cancel at the last minute when the symphony would not let him make such a statement. Since the symphony is partially a state-funded organization, its stance is understandable. It was a no-win situation.

  • Lance Boyle May 24, 12:43 p.m.
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    A few times I have had to use my very own brain to help me understand how to avoid risks in the bathroom. I once even decided that I better go in with my kids to make sure things were safe. I guess knowing not to pick up a rattlesnake needs to have a law?

  • Eric Hammond May 24, 12:30 p.m.
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    Brian Jones May 24, 11:20 a.m.

    image: https://graph.facebook.com/v2.3/113525175729256/picture?type=square

    "... didn't take millions of dollars out of our state.That money stayed here and is spent on business here. That is good for our economy"

    Again with the radical right-wings' faulty logic - local businesses, hotels, arena workers, arena profits, etc. lost out - locally - in this state; much of it from people who travelled from OUT of the state! Performers do not make "millions" for one concert - So that argument does not hold water!

    Try something else... Like reading the Constitution of the United States, and Bill of Rights - no one has the right to FORCE their religious standards on another. This is where the radical anti-Constitution radical right fails the test - the only problem now is how to make people realize they are trying to remove the freedoms guaranteed by our founding fathers!

  • Brian Jones May 24, 11:20 a.m.
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    Pearl Jam and Maroon 5 (Who?) didn't take millions of dollars out of our state............That money stayed here and is spent on business here.............That is good for our economy.........................