March 29, 2017; New York Times
The University of North Carolina men’s basketball team has reached the NCAA tournament’s Final Four and will be squaring off against the University of Oregon on Saturday night.
The Atlantic Coast Conference also moved its neutral-site championships out of North Carolina this year in response to House Bill 2, and the National Basketball Association moved its All-Star game to New Orleans from Charlotte.
Some local news outlets reported this week the NCAA had set a Thursday deadline for the state to address the bill. Officials at the association could not be reached for comment Wednesday. A league statement last week stated, “Absent any change in the law, our position remains the same regarding hosting current or future events in the state.”
Yesterday, the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature announced an agreement to repeal House Bill 2 (HB2), but LGBT advocates are pushing for greater protections before they would support the calling off of a boycott that the Associated Press estimates will cost North Carolina more than $3.7 billion over the next 12 years. Cathryn Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, which led the advocacy effort there, said that even if this particular compromise were accepted, it would still leave lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with no statewide antidiscrimination ordinance, leaving them “boxed out of nondiscrimination protections.” Chris Sgro of Equality North Carolina said the repeal “keeps North Carolina as the only state in the country obsessed with where trans people use the restroom through law.”
Luckily, the state’s residents are also obsessed with college basketball, and the NCAA is on the precipice of deciding that North Carolina could lose its right to host championship sporting events through 2022.—Ruth McCambridge