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Raleigh conventions in limbo after HB2 ruling

Posted March 25

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— House Bill 2 is generating national and international conversation, and much of the discussions are about the potential economic fallout for North Carolina.

One day after a demonstration took place in front of the governor’s mansion in downtown Raleigh, the Raleigh Convention Center fielded calls from groups scheduled to hold conventions, including a software convention from Canada and organizers of the Animazement convention, slated for Memorial Day weekend.

The groups voiced concern over whether their convention goers will be welcomed in North Carolina.

Officials with the Raleigh Convention Center told WRAL News that they have reassured the groups that everything will be done to accommodate anyone attending the conventions.

"I'm concerned about the impact this could potentially have on sports tourism in the region, but there are a lot of unknowns at this point and we will be monitoring the situation closely,” said Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hill Carrow, CEO of the Triangle Sports Commission, said it’s too early in the process to assess implications.

“The fact that the NBA is questioning keeping the All-Star Game in Charlotte and ESPN is expressing national concerns about the impacts of the legislation, is cause for concern, particular if the bill, in practice or simply by perception, is seen as positioning North Carolina as anything other than a very welcoming state to all people,” he said.

Raleigh Convention Center officials said they have not yet lost any scheduled conventions.

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  • Scooter Barrette Mar 26, 2016
    user avatar

    Steve, there are already laws on the books preventing anyone, regardless of gender, from violating your privacy in a bathroom stall. But if the mere presence of the opposite sex makes you nervous, then that's a personal obstacle they must overcome. We have to get to a point where we trust one another so that, yes, this becomes a non issue and we can ALL use the same bathroom. This isn't about safety. It's just about personal freedom and trust.

  • Willy Hartsfield Mar 26, 2016
    user avatar

    I agree with you Alan and Frankly I don't believe it is that serious of an issue. I think the liberal media and LGBT's in governmental positions are make it see that way. It all started when some brilliant person decided to legislate immorality. Now here is the domino effect. What will be next? I have the right to marry my dog and he should have equal rights under the law??? The country is going to hell in a hand basket, smh....

  • Steve Clark Mar 26, 2016
    user avatar

    Completely invalid argument, Scooter. Race and sex are different things, and you still haven't addressed my point.. I'm talking about regular straight men that just want to go into the girls locker room and watch them change. The man's defense is simply "but I identify as a woman".

  • Scooter Barrette Mar 26, 2016
    user avatar

    "The problem isn't that we've allowed black people to sit anywhere on the bus, the problem is that we made it illegal for white people to ASK black people to sit in the back if they're uncomfortable." -Steve

  • Scooter Barrette Mar 26, 2016
    user avatar

    Steve, I think the point that you're missing is that transgender individuals arn't second-class citizens, and can't just be "asked" to give up their abilities and opportunities. If women are uncomfortable with trans-folk, that's their problem.

  • Steve Clark Mar 26, 2016
    user avatar

    I think the point that keeps getting missed, is that the Charlotte town council essentially made a law that a woman or little girl CAN'T ask a Man to leave the bathroom, if he Claims that he identifies as a woman. It's that simple. There were no 'clothing rules' or appearance standards in the Charlotte law.... simply put, a man can just say "I identify as a woman and you can't make me leave"

    I don't see the big confusion.

  • Alan Gaddy Mar 26, 2016
    user avatar

    If they are concerned with this ruling, maybe we don't want them in Raleigh..., maybe they would be happier in another state, or another county, or another planet or anywhere but here.......