Consequences of HB2 in North Carolina: Economic and Political Science Topics

It’s been one year since the controversial HB2 legislation was passed in North Carolina. Known as the Bathroom Bill, or by its official name—Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act—the bill established a new definition for the state of which classes of people were protected against discrimination, leaving out specific coverage of LGBT individuals or veterans.

See what topics you can cover on HB2. (Credit: WRAL)

See what topics you can cover on HB2. (Credit: WRAL)

Another aspect of the bill required public schools, state university and community college systems, state agencies and local government offices to restrict bathroom access to the person’s assigned sex at birth, which prohibited transgender people from using the bathroom that fit their gender identity.

Finally, the bill prohibited cities and counties in North Carolina from requiring businesses to pay higher than the state minimum wage or setting their own standards for employee benefits. The economic consequences for the state have been significant, which is one area a research paper could explore, while others include the civil rights implications for the LGBT community.

Economic consequences of HB2

It has been challenging to get an accurate estimate of the economic consequences for North Carolina of this bill. Jim Morrill, Katherine Peralta and Steve Harrison wrote, “A year later, HB2 has cost North Carolina millions. How much worse will it get?” on March 18, 2017, for The Charlotte Observer and noted, “Through research and interviews with economists, Politifact estimates that HB2 has cost North Carolina between $450 million and $630 million.”

Losses that can be counted to the state’s economy include playing host to the NCAA and ACC championships, an NBA All-Star Game, as well as production of a Hulu show, a PayPal operations center and the expansion of research firm CoStar.

A research paper could examine the lesser known provisions of HB2 that impact minimum-wage and employment-discrimination.

NCAA deadline to North Carolina

One of the reactions North Carolina received in response to the passing of HB2 was the loss of the NCAA and ACC championship games. The state had hosted both the men’s NCAA Tournament games and the men’s and women’s ACC Tournaments multiple times.

NCAA Gives North Carolina a Deadline to Repeal Anti-LGBT Law or Lose More Events” posted by Jim Morrill and Colin Campbell on March 27, 2017, to governing.com shared the NCAA’s latest statement on upcoming events, “‘As the state knows, next week our various sports committees will begin making championships site selections for 2018-2022,’ the NCAA said in a statement. ‘Once the sites are selected … those decisions are final.’ The NCAA plans to announce sites on April 18.” Losing these events for the next six years would add to the economic consequences North Carolina has experienced so far.

A research paper could delve into the original Charlotte nondiscrimination ordinance that prompted HB2 in the first place, as well as the actions of various legislators and civil rights groups to overturn the bill.

Beyond North Carolina

Despite the controversy and economic consequences that North Carolina has faced as a result of the passage of HB2, other states across America may attempt similar legislation. According to an article in the Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), “In Red States, Businesses Gear Up to Fight Bathroom Bills” on January 2, 2017, “Despite the political and economic repercussions that erupted in North Carolina, the American Civil Liberties Union expects an increase in statehouse proposals limiting LGBT protections in 2017.”

A research paper could examine the states potentially considering laws like HB2 such as Alabama, Missouri, South Carolina and South Dakota, and study the politics of such laws and the groups working for and against these types of bills.

Want to learn more about gay rights? Check out Questia—particularly the section on activism and advocacy.

Do you think other states will avoid bills like North Carolina’s HB2 legislation due to the economic consequences? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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