Unless you live thoroughly disconnected from main stream media odds are you’ve heard about the HB 2 in North Carolina and the HB 1523 in Mississippi bills that were just signed by their Governors, Pat McCrory (R) and Phil Bryant (R), respectively. There are countless articles and news accounts that cover the details of each of the bills but this article is not about that and will say it’s basically a manipulation to allow for it to be lawful for people to discriminate against anyone in the LGBT spectrum without fear of being sued under the guise of ‘religious freedom’.
Along with the announcements that these bills were signed the general public has been deluged with statements from all kinds of major businesses and high-profile persons crying out for the bill to be overturned. Most recently PayPal made its announcement that it will no longer be bringing it’s nearly $4 million dollar development into the Charlotte, NC area. Film production has been an industry that was quickly gaining ground in the North Carolina area given its diverse geographical landscape and lower costs compared to the bigger cities such as Los Angeles and New York City combined with more stable climates. However, major companies such as Lions Gate have since pulled productions out of the state while individuals like Rob Reiner have made clear statements that they will refuse to film anywhere inside North Carolina while this bill remains in effect.
To further attempt to “hit them where it hurts” (i.e. the wallet) Governors of other states such as New York, California, and Connecticut led the way to institute travel bans for all “non-essential” travel to both North Carolina and Mississippi. The businesses above and many others have taken similar steps to boycott by removing business opportunities by expanding their businesses into the areas or removing services such as canceling all productions of Wicked inside the states until these bills are revamped or removed entirely.
“how long will “the people” be on our side?”
As of right now “the people” are behind the businesses and our cause as they are currently throwing their support our way. While there is a vocal group of “religious radicals” who have allowed these bills to be signed and who are fighting to keep them active, there seems to be a wonderfully massive response from the general population of these states and across the nation making it well-known they’re opposed to these discriminatory bills. The problem is, how long will “the people” be on our side?
While the politicians are typically the ones focused on how much money will be coming into their states, they don’t always feel the belt-tightening until much further down the road. It’s “the people” that will feel the financial crunch far sooner and far more severely than most politicians and, as a result, the tide for us could quickly change to a tide against us. As businesses pull out their funding and jobs that could be coming into the area people could have one of two responses. First would be in our favor where it further angers and infuriates the people while they demand justice and an immediate response, calling the politicians to task for their mismanagement and tactics that have damaged an already tenuous economy. The second could be “see, those gays/trans ruin everything, it’s their fault we lost our jobs” which would result in a massive backlash against us and our causes.
Our best hope is that North Carolina and Mississippi will feel the weight of the national pressure before it impacts the economy in their regions as quickly as the Governor Mike Pence (R) of Indiana did when he attempted to legalize bigotry and discrimination.