North Carolina and Mississippi See Tourist Backlash After L.G.B.T. Laws

Trips are being canceled over a law in Mississippi that allows anti-gay discrimination and one in North Carolina that regulates transgender bathroom access.

Comments: 245

  1. I truly can't imagine anyone planning a vacation saying, "Gee, I think I'll go to Mississippi." I'd say that person, if they exist, should get themselves a map and realize there are about a million other places in the world that would be more desirable. It seems that place would be more a location from which you flee, rather than a place you seek.

  2. That's not fair. There's a lot to see in Mississippi - I look forward to visiting at some point, after these laws are off their books.

  3. Actually, td, I did think that, recently. I wanted to tour the delta country from Memphis down to New Orleans. I'm certainly not taking that trip now, however.

  4. I think we should invent a new term for this brand of location-based stereotyping and closed-mindedness. Let's call it placism.

  5. Banners are cheap, and half these people voted to put the Republicans in office who enacted these laws. When the hotel & tourist people announce their super PAC has donated $50,000 for Gov. McCrory's opponent in NC this fall, maybe I'll start to believe them. Southern bigotry can't be solved with a vinyl banner.

  6. Still, one has to feel a little bad for the unfortunate groups that voted against the measures but get boycotted anyway. Statistics say you would be right more than half the time, but what about the others?

    I would like to see this fiasco put to an end soon, both for those discriminated against and for the innocent people being punished in the boycotting process.

  7. Looks like these bigoted states are reaping what they sowed.

    I hope, one day, that the USA as a nation will grow up and join the civilised world. I was shocked as a teenager in the 1960s that the US Black population were oppressed and segregated and that some deity was used to justify it then. I am disgusted, today, that these fools have not learned from their own history

  8. The history of the UK, past and present, is not much better. The naivete of in-group superiority, not religion, is the real threat. "Shock, fools, disgusted" – your choice of language gives you away.

  9. Let them suffer the economic and cultural effects of their bigoted lawmakers.

  10. The Republican legislators driving HB2 are cozily ensconced in their red-county gerrymandered districts, far from the effects of the boycotts they have provoked.... Sadly, lots of LGBT advocates are vigorously pumping a pump handle that isn't connected to the pump..... Alternatives welcome!

  11. If you want someone to suffer because of their beliefs, you're no better than NC lawmakers.

  12. Bigotry is a belief system?

  13. Well, letters and banners are great window dressing, but they really don't accomplish anything. Since the businesses and the people of these states clearly showed a preference for Republican governments who cater exclusively to the extreme right of their bases, they need to experience the dire consequences of their votes. If businesses truly felt outrage beyond the damage to their bottom lines, they would take more forceful approaches to undoing these heinous laws, e.g., civil disobedience, sponsoring mass protests, forming PACs to elect Democrats across the board, etc.

    In the mean time, I will happily stay away from these states and boycott any companies that are either headquartered or have large manufacturing facilities in these states. This includes Lowe's, Lane Furniture, Continental Tires, Nissan, etc.

  14. NC has a strong democratic and progressive history despite well-known figures such as Jessie Helms holding long office. We went for Obama in 08. Sadly we got screwed by gerrymandering that locked many of the extremists in office and they are destroying our state. The majority of us do not support this nor the other nonsense they've imposed. Yet our legislature and governor are reaping exactly what they've sewn and deserve every bit of the fallout.

  15. It must be noted that Pat McCrory, governor of North Carolina, was quite the moderate when he was mayor of Charlotte and he ran as a moderate.

    At some point, he took a rather hard right turn.

    The good news is that he is up for re-election this fall. Maybe he will be a one term governor.

  16. Don't forget Bank of America.

  17. Why don't the states requre that all the politicians who voted in these horrible laws be obligated to make up the difference in what is lost in tourism dollars. Then let's see how quickly the laws are repealed

  18. Linda G. Hornsby of the Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association said: “The first thing we did after the bill was passed was to put up a banner on our website that says ‘Everyone Is Welcome Here’


    Instead of cute little banners that proclamin everyone welcome, perhaps the tourism officials need to focus their efforts around showing up in large numbers in Jackson and Raleigh on a daily basis to put visible pressure on state legislatures until these abominations of the law are rightfully overturned. Because until then, no, everyone is not welcome, and until everyone is truly welcome, no one is welcome.

  19. If you think it is bad looking in from the outside, you should try living in this backward, redneck, hillybilly state as I have for 63 years. The location(geography) is great,beaches, mountains etc.. fantastic, but 50% of the people still want to live in the antebellum south.

  20. ‘Everyone Is Welcome Here’ because that’s how we feel. This law is not what Mississippi is about.”

    If that is how a majority of Mississippi citizens really feel, perhaps they would elect different politicians.

  21. Hopeless.

  22. The feeble attempts of NC and MI to try to repair self-inflicted damage to their images and economies are too little too late. While these states' lawmakers legislate for outright bigotry, many fair-minded citizens and organizations once again vote for acceptance and equality for all. This is a proud moment for America.

  23. MI is Michigan. MS is Mississippi. I'm sure the author of the MS law, MS Rep. J. Andrew Gipson of the New Orleans based Jones Walker law firm, would want you to get that straight.

  24. Mercutio, the abbreviation for Mississippi is MS; MI represents Michigan, and they've got other issues to deal with...

  25. Granted, the tourism industry has a financial interest in not alienating LGBT travelers, their friends, allies and all progressive-minded persons, but still the question remains: Who would want to visit a state that has already proven it hates gay and transgendered people?

    It will take a lot more than merely repealing these offensive, bigoted and unconstitutional laws to make amends to the LGBT community. North Carolina and Mississippi could start by passing statewide anti-discrimination laws in housing, employment and public accommodation.

  26. NC Gov. McCrory thinks he can fix HB2 with tweaks, and though NC senate leader Phil Berger says for now that he doesn't support making any changes to the law, if these economic pressures continue, I think he will find he has to revisit that opinion and will similarly try to "fix" the law.

    To paraphrase Yoda: There is no fix, only repeal.

  27. Gildan Activewear (aka UnderArmour) has a big presence in Phil Berger's district. What is their position on HB2? Their corporate culture seems opposed to bigotry.

  28. "This law is not what Mississippi is about." Except, it is.

  29. This is an example of a solution looking for a proble, In all the time I lived in North Carolina, I never heard, read or saw any trans phobia in action.

    Indeed, one would hope that their elected representatives would give some serious thought to their agenda items and take informed decisions that benefit all their residents and help to move their state forward.

    Instead they have managed to create a severe economic and moral backlash in less than a day.

  30. Those tourist organizations such as Mississippi Hotel and Lodging who pretend that the new law is "not what Mississippi is about" are denying the reality that the population of Mississippi voted into office those who voted for the new law. While they are "collateral damage" until they put enough pressure on the governor and legislature to change, they deserve to lose money. Businesses in Charlotte can fool themselves that they like Austin, TX are islands of reality in a sea of hate, but as long as the state has the power, all the "Welcome" signs don't really matter or make any difference.

    Kansas has not yet--despite severe damage to education and other investments in the future--seen fit to throw out Brownback and his cohorts. Wisconsin has kept in the damaging Scott Walker who continues his divisive economic agenda. My own state of residence under Rick Scott continues water policies that permanently damage our environment as well as denying the climate change that will drown our major cities.

    At some point the loss of business and tourism dollars will not be enough to change the minds of the bigots and ideologs in power; it will take voting the bigots and ideologs out. When will we have the good sense and courage to do so?

  31. "Businesses in Charlotte can fool themselves that they like Austin, TX are islands of reality in a sea of hate"

    Please don't mischaracterize Texas that way, Austin is awesome but the big cities are also relatively progressive compared to the rest of the state.

    Did you know the Mexican Americans in South Texas would be another blue state if we were allowed to form our own state?

    Don't believe me? Just look at the map of the voting results of the last gubernatorial election:,_2014#/media/...

    Hispanics live in the blue areas, notice how we did not vote for Greg Abbott. Blacks live in the urban areas and in East Texas and they too have been gerrymandered where they no political power.

    This was illegal until the GOP in Washington DC watered down the Voting Rights Act to allow discrimination against Blacks and Hispanics when it comes to voting. Note that Texans did not do this but Republicans from other states across the nation did.

    The problem with Texas, and the South in general, are the White people. Need proof?

    Mexico illegalized slavery in 1828, and when Mexico tried to crack down on slavery Whites revolted and eventually joined the US.

    So Texas independence was never about liberty, it was about Whites maintaining Black slavery and suppressing the Mexicans who let them move to Texas in the first place.

    GOP 101:

  32. These laws do not just govern bathroom usage by transgender people. Instead, these are trojan horse laws that allow people to use religion to refuse to provide goods and services to anyone deemed to live in sin, particularly LGBT people and single unwed mothers. Who would want to spend the time and effort on a vacation in one of these states and not be served at a restaurant/hotel/marina/tour/store because the server or manager decides that you or your travel companions look too "gay" or that you are an unmarried couple or a single mom? There are many of other parts of the country and other parts of the South where your business will be welcome regardless of the religious beliefs of a loud vocal minorty.

  33. I'm straight, but support genuine equality. I had planned to visit NC this year, but I've cancelled those plans and am spending my vacation dollars elsewhere. Draping "Always Welcome" signs doesn't do anything for me. Businesses in NC (and MS) who claim to be "welcoming" need to put their money where their mouth is--support elected officials who work for freedom and justice for ALL, and do not encourage or amplify inequality.

  34. We recently drove north from Florida where we were for the winter. We made a point of driving through North Carolina without stopping except for a ceremonial bathroom break. We will do the same next year, avoiding spending for anything, even gasoline.

  35. Amazing that the trans gender are being discriminated against for acts of abuse that have not been committed.Does anyone really think that a man will go through all that is required to change their sexual identity in order to abuse little girls in a public bathroom where there are people going in and out? If we really want to make public bathrooms safe, how about we prohibit people who have been guilty of real abuse like registered sex offenders and priests from using public restrooms.

  36. There are consequences to bigotry. Last time I checked, no one is looking in my stall when I'm in the bathroom. Who cares whether the person next to me is trans. This is a mean-spirited, ignorant effort to cast revenge for the legalization of same sex marriage. Get over it. Don't we have real issues to concern ourselves with? Take a look at global warming if you want to tackle a real threat to the future of our children.

  37. I agree with you Ellen. But to add salt to the wound the NC GOP legislators and voters in this state do not see it as revenge. They see it as a "hat trick." They voted against same sex marriage and even outlawed, essentially, global warming - we can't have coastal flooding that will increase property flood insurance, can we? That would be breaking the law! Where they will stop, who know. I just hope the voters wake up from this nightmare soon.

  38. To say nothing of the fact that these states will be among the first to feel the irrevocable effects of rising oceans.

  39. I care if he is a senator tapping his shoe.

  40. To long have the southern white bigoted members of the GOP kept its noise in the bedroom, the vagina and the now the bathroom of the American Public.

    These repressive representatives must go ! The governments of any New South must be against repression and for freedom and liberty For Everyone !

  41. I don't feel a bit sorry for the major corporations who are losing revenue because of this bill. Undoubtedly, they contributed to the campaigns of the very politicians who wrote and voted for this legislation. Perhaps I would feel a bit different if each of these corporations wrote equally large checks to the various human rights organizations and non-hating politicians who oppose this sort of legislation. But I do feel sorry for the many good and open-minded small business owners who will be hurt by the boycotts, some of whom are undoubtedly LGBT themselves. Instead of boycotting, it might be more appropriate to go there, but stay and spend at restaurants, hotels, etc that share a more open and caring set of values.

  42. Perhaps you don't realize that this whole hoo-ha started because state legislators wanted to overrule a local ordinance in Charlotte banning discrimination against LGBT people. The big corporations most likely were in favor of this ordinance, so I don't think it's fair to place the blame for the state's action on them.

  43. Sorry Ms. Hornsby but this is what Mississippi is about. The citizens voted these people into office,

  44. Only because of cynical GOP gerrymandering. If they can't win elections fairly, they'll manipulate electoral areas until they do - and that's exactly what they did. So it is incorrect to blame the entire electoral population of Mississippi for the zealotry of conservative partisan interests that do not reflect the views or beliefs of a great many in the general electorate.

  45. And who voted for the representatives who redrew the gerrymandered districts?

    You can't pretend that the gerrymandering didn't result from the voters' choices, including those of the liberals/progressives who stayed home rather than vote in the mid-term elections.

  46. @Nell - Agree totally. I want to scream every time some petulant liberal/progressive self-righteously proclaims he or she isn't going to bother voting because (a) both parties are the same anyway or (b) their "good" candidate lost out in the primary to the "bad and corrupt" candidate or (c) they want to "send a message" to the Democratic party that the party does not meet their standards. They never seem to have the least clue of how much damage their self-centered belief in their own purity can do and will continue to do.

  47. Unfortunately, like many other states, North Carolina is gerrymandered to keep progressive voters isolated in a few districts, and gives inordinate power to rural voters who will not be impacted by any of the boycotts. So although I regret that the impact of the boycotts is felt most deeply in the progressive parts of the state that actually support equal rights, business protests represent the only hope we have of convincing state representatives to repeal this hateful law.

  48. The effect of legalized gerrymandering has deep and wide impact across the country. It is among the most undemocratic elements in our current democracy, another being "dark money" and unlimited contributions distorting our political system. The regressive and reactionary political elements in our country punch way above their weigh as a consequence.

    Nominating progressive people to the Supreme Court, and getting them confirmed is our most strategic option for undoing the legality of both gerrymandering and the influence of big money.

    In the meantime- boycott!

  49. You can't gerrymander statewide offices like Governor. Y'all need to get your more liberal selves organized to turn out the vote and keep a D in the Governor's chair.

  50. As people who live in one of the liberal communities of NC (Asheville--yes there are lots of us, it's not an oxymoron) we are not surprised about what's going on since our State government went to the GOP because of gerrymandering. I am thrilled to see the loud backlash against this latest travesty. Most things that our terrible governor does doesn't get into the media. The religious far right is completely dug in here and they don't care at all about the backlash. But when major economic interests get involved, I expect to see change forced on these fearful, backward looking, angry people. Of course, they love Ted Cruz, signs already on lawns! Quite a challenge living here sometimes but it's a beautiful place with plenty of nice people.

  51. Glad you like it there. Washington State and Oregon are also beautiful places with plenty of nice people, only without state governments controlled by hateful bigots.

  52. I am about to head on a road trip to the south, I had planned on the Outer Banks. Now my plan is to hold up for the night in Virginia and drive through NC hopefully only stopping for a bathroom break(Men's room as I am a heterosexual Male). Though I am invisible to them as I have no reservation to cancel. SC & Georgia Beaches will get my cash.

  53. FYI Georgia and SC are hardly bastions of equality as well. Trading one set of headline grabbing bigots for silent ones that are no less virulent.

  54. I'll bet that the vast majority of the North Carolina and Mississippi legislators who supported these discriminatory laws believe that individuals and organizations should be held accountable for their actions. Well, this is what accountability looks like. Let's see if they stand up and accept responsibility, or just try to hide behind the old saws of "liberal news media" and "outside agitators."

  55. ‘Everyone Is Welcome Here’

    Not until the law is repealed.

  56. I've always thought that where and on what I choose to spend my money was one of the few ways I can let my values influence decision-makers, e.g., selecting the product with the least packaging, etc.

    We were all set to spend a couple weeks in the Outer Banks this summer. We would have spent a lot of money there, too. No, thanks. We'll just go to the Cape instead. Why would I want to reward the voters and politicians of North Carolina?

  57. If the 1523 bill is not what Mississippi is about, then why do Mississippi voters elect the people they do? Same for North Carolina. Sorry folks, this IS what Mississippi and North Carolina are about. The majority of voters in these states want exactly what they have. Congratulations to the tourists and conventioneers who a cancelling. There are better places to go.

  58. Whether you are a governor in North Carolina, a state legislator in Mississippi, or an analyst on ESPN, your intolerance and unwillingness to embrace America's growing acceptance of LGBT folks carries a real price tag. Bigotry is not "principle" or an expression of "religious freedom." Let the chips fall where they may.

  59. I guess the legislators and religious bigots in North Carolina and Mississippi did not pay any attention to the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court 6-3 decision to legalize Gay Marriage in all states. The decision was actually based on a California Federal Appeals Court decision that based its result on the fact that marriage is a civil right and is not based on religious right. Simply no one can get a marriage license by going to the local priest, minister, rabbi, or whatever and asking for one. A couple has to present themselves to town hall or city hall and pay a fee for a civil license, and that basic process makes marriage a civil right without any discrimination. The North Carolina and Mississippi situations are similarly based upon religious rights over civil rights. Anybody opening a business or putting out a shingle has to have a license, permit, inspection process or whatever, which is issued by a civil authority, not a religious one. A church leader has no authority to issue permits to open a business, and has no authority to govern the running of one. Civil authorities, too, cannot authorize use of restrooms based upon religious grounds. Proponents of these preposterous pieces of legislation will be laughed out of court the first time that they set foot inside to defend their acts.

  60. Pssst! News media! The state of Arkansas has adopted nearly the same hateful legislation passed in Mississippi & North Carolina. Our new Red Team is full of hate. Why is Arkansas getting a pass? Please shine some light over here!

    I love my state but as people are saying, there should be fast & harsh consequences when Hate legislation is passed! Just think of all the wasted time, money & effort that's gone into the hocus-pocus game of religion! There's be no cancer or wars or starvation & we'd all drive flying cars if all those resources hadn't been wasted for thousands of years. And it's such a tool for hate & wars!

  61. I suppose that the tourism industry isn't about bigotry, but they should have known that they would be the first victims of such bigotry legislation.

    The legislatures seem happy to kowtow to the most vile bigots in their base, too bad that they aren't the ones who have to suffer from the backlash.

  62. The party that calls themselves the "party of small government" seems to actually be "the party of making decisions for women, people of color, and LGBT," with a purpose full of hate, bigotry, and discrimination. Arizona's former governor, Jan Brewer, helped pass the "show your papers law," that cost Arizona hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as a loss in population of over 100,000. States, ie. all the individual citizens, don't recover quickly from hateful political decisions.

  63. If NC legislators cared one nickel about the economic impact of HB2, they never would have passed the bill. Same for McCrory, who is the former mayor of Charlotte and thus someone who ought to know better.

    What the legislators and McCrory did care about, and what prompted this bill, was holding on to their offices in the November election. It was, in the end, a pure political play intended to galvanize and energize their base of conservative, socially rigid voters, most of whom do not travel too far from home.

    Hopefully, the beneficial impact of what they have done will be to throw the whole bunch of them out of their jobs, to be replaced with the kind of enlightened Democratic Party leadership the state used to have.

  64. As many have noted, sentiment comes cheap. I will believe their regrets when the hospitality industry and the corporations with a large presence in NC (are you listening Bank of America?) form a PAC to re-elect Gov. McCrory and as many Democrats as possible in the state legislature. THEN we will see change.

  65. the tools of political change have evolved quite a lot since the 1950's. there is "direct democracy" now in forms that are relatively new. the people can bypass the parasitical politicians and express their will in ways that the politicians cannot control. i think this is the real story here: the fact that it relates to LGBT issues is only a specification.

    in a consumer economy thriving on consumer expenditures for corporate products in a political system owned and controlled by corporations, consumer expenditures may be far more effective than the ballot as a tool to affect political change.

  66. The free market at work-- one of the talking points of the party of nowhere men. I guess nothing speaks truth to power like dollar votes.

  67. Capitalism at work. If you don't like something, don't buy it. That sends a pretty strong message.

  68. Why would anyone choose to visit what has become the armpit of this nation ?Both McRory and Bryant are right out of the Book of Leviticus , have no respect for our country , our Constitution , or the citizens that they represent. Hundreds of thousands denied government healthcare insurance , because these two dimwits don't care for the color of Obama's skin.

    As for the LGBT folks , they are not to be considered worthy of 14th Amendment due process and equal treatment under the law. The republican state governments in question are hiding behind the Bible based bigotry that has absolutely no place in any decent society.

    At the same time , both North Carolina and Mississippi are deep in debt and contribute nothing to the national exchequer. Instead , like the indigent citizens that both McRory and Bryant despise , these governors are up to their ears in the public trough. They are bottom of the barrel health wise , education wise , and poverty wise , yet have the gall to take a large bite out of the hand that feeds them in pursuit of destroying the very lifeline that allows them to even exist.

  69. Why would I take a vacation to a state that allows grown men in the bathroom with my 7 year old daughter? I wont.

  70. I take it your position is that a transgendered man with ovaries removed, on testosterone, bearded, muscled, but female listed on his birth certificate, should be required to share the bathroom with your daughter.

    HB2 has a lot more in its five pages than a requirement of who goes to what bathroom. You should worry more about folks washing their hands before leaving the bathroom.

  71. We are collectively impressed that you've memorized your Fox News/Ted Cruz lines so well.

    As for the reality of the situation, this is a law in search of a problem. And I can assure you that a transsexual (oh my! I'm sure that word frightens you!) is not in the least interested in the ladyparts of a 7-year-old, 17-year-old or 70-year-old. If a menacing man wants to walk into a ladies room with malice aforethought anywhere on the planet (including the one down the street from you) and do his worst, what he's wearing is certainly not going to stop him -- and he's 99.99% certain to be 100% heterosexual.

    In short, your Baptist Taliban friends have gotten you all worked up over something that will never, ever happen. Move on with your life and get your mind out of the gutter. It never ceases to amaze me, by the way, how completely obsessed some from the far, far right are with genitalia, bathroom goings-on and matters sexual. What's THAT about anyway?

    Paging Dr. Freud.

  72. It's a shame that many Mississippi and North Carolina businesses are suffering from their legislature's social agenda. The state capitals should've stepped down when the protests started, because the boycott is an effective but economically devastating last resort when politicians don't comply to milder objections.

    If I owned a tourism business or worked in a tourism town, I'd be lobbying my representatives to repel the law and encouraging my community to vote in more economically sensible politicians.

    I hope the Missouri House will learn from this and vote against its own anti-LGBT bill. I don't want my state to associate itself as an opponent of progress and make the state a less accepting place for my cousins and friends.

  73. This is exactly what Mississippi is about. Even if they change the law everyone knows what is in their heart.

    Yet at the same time if that's what they want their state to be let them continue to push for such nonsense and live with the consequences.

  74. That's what these politicians get for refusing to live in the real world. The real world decides it wants nothing to do with you.

  75. "While the celebrity response is drawing considerable attention, the travel industry in each state is more concerned about lower-profile visitors: the everyday tourists who have already begun canceling trips or planning vacations elsewhere.My sister and her family just cancelled a vacation to N.C. and are making other plans. " To this point: My sister and her family have just cancelled a vacation to NC and are making other plans. I encourage all visitors to look into this law, and how NC is putting travelers off by telling them just who is welcome in their state.

  76. I encourage everyone who cares about the safety of women and girls to vacation in North Carolina. Show them you gratitude and support for standing tall against those waging a war of women.

  77. You must really feel shut in here in Los Angeles!

  78. I would fear for the safety of women and girls who go to NC or Mississippi and be exposed to the bigotry masked by a smile. I would be embarrassed to be called a citizen of those states.

  79. Other than the prospect of losing their coveted government jobs, raw economic power is the only thing those jokers in the Mississippi and North Carolina legislatures and governors' offices understand. They're getting what they deserve with out-of-state businesses and individuals cancelling trips, conventions, and the like.

    Discrimination of any kind is a pox on their houses. If businesses and others in those states don't like the effects of the 'boycott', they need to talk, and talk loudly and incessantly, to those state government officials about cancelling the offending legislation. Don't they, and the rest of the legislators across the county - and in Washington, D.C., too, have much more important things to do than building walls by discriminating against people?

  80. I think a boycott might work with NC, I think it will have little impact on Mississippi.

  81. My closest friend lives in North Carolina. The wife and formerly the kids and I have visited him every year for the last twenty-five years, sometimes just for a three day weekend, sometimes for two weeks. He lives near the Outer Banks, which we love, and we often head across the state to the Great Smokies, stopping at craft shops and microbreweries and staying in motels. None of us are gay, but we have strong feelings about human and civil rights. We have already canceled our visit for this year.

    Yes, we know that many of the businesses where we stay, eat, and shop are opposed to the bill. Yes, we know that many of the employees who will suffer from a boycott also oppose the bill. Sorry Friends. But North Carolina won't act without pressure. Just the way it is.

  82. Extremist Republicans may have enough votes in certain states. But those states can never have enough revenue. Even Trump can understand that.

  83. How is it that people like you can call something "extreme" when it has been the status quo for recorded history? Can you go around dying grass purple and then call us extreme for wishing it to remain green? It is YOU who are extreme, not the rest of us.

  84. We lived without electricity for thousands upon thousands of years. Using your logic, a lunatic who wants to blow up power plants so we can live a we had for most of recorded history is not an "extremist", and those of us who choose to live in the modern world are.

  85. Slavery has been "status quo for recorded history".

    Male domination of females has been "status quo for recorded history".

    Religious persecution has been "status quo for recorded history".

    Extremes? I suppose on where on slide you are...

  86. If the law is not what Mississippi is about, then the lawmakers responsible are not what Mississippi is about. Speak with your ballot rather than banners.

  87. Ostensive champions of the free market that they are, republicans cannot be surprised about what's happening in response to these highly regressive and bigoted laws.

  88. GOPers keep finding a non-issue and turning it into a divisive and hateful one. Before the HB2 bill, was there really a problem??? And I thought they were against regulations. But they want to regulate morality of others to fit their immoral and fake religious morality.

    Mississippi should force those businesses who desire to discriminate against others on religious grounds, to identify themselves so that we know which ones' not to patronize - i.e. so we can discriminate back against them on their religious grounds. SO MUCH FOR PROTECTIONS AGAINST RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION.

    I would agree with GOPers that "government" is bad if what they mean is that "GOP government" is bad - as they keep proving over and over again.

  89. YES, there was a problem because a convicted gay pedophile named Sevearance mobilized support for a law in Charlotte to allow trans people in any stage of transition to enter whichever bathroom they chose. The rest of us, straight, gay or bi, don't get that choice, BTW. Charlotte passed this stupid and dangerous law so the state legislature had no choice but to create HB2 to override it. HB2 would not exist were it not for Mr. Sevearance.

  90. "No choice"? It only seems that way to the narrow minded bigots - themselves a minority given a voice by gerrymandering alone.

  91. Should businesses that want to discriminate identify themselves publicly? Great idea! Maybe a big old cross could be used to distinguish those businesses that want to discriminate against LGBT folk. They could wear a big old cross sewn on their clothing, too, so that LGBT bank tellers, and pharmacists, and paramedics would know not to come in contact with them.

    And maybe on that cross they should have a weeping Jesus.

  92. And all the people affected economically should immediately call the offices of the ignorant politicians who passed this law to complain; then, next election, get rid of them. A stupid, unneeded, political pandering controversy. Like the police say: how are we going to enforce it? Do people now have to carry their birth certificates around? The larger picture, of course, is of metropolitan urban areas vs. rural counties in these states, and the difference in attitudes.

  93. I'm curious about these laws...who carries their birth certificate with them while on vacation? Who is going to decide who looks masculine or feminine enough to use a restroom?

  94. It's not just the bathroom clauses. Read HB2. It really is a disaster for many lower wage North Carolinians, who probably voted for the "legislators" who wrote the bill, or more likely copied ALEC's...

  95. how can a straight male sex offender be prevented from accessing the women's room? Who would have the authority to ask him to leave?

  96. How are they prevented now, and no ones stopping them? Sounds like more reasons to avoid North Carolina altogether.

  97. In some ways these boycotts seem to be punishing the very cities who were trying to make progress on equal rights. In NC, HB2 was instituted by the state legislature in response to the city of Charlotte's attempt to write anti-discrimination and above minimum wage language into local laws. Lawmakers got involved on the grounds of preventing local "government overreach." Now they city of Charlotte is being punished by boycotters, and this seems unfair.

  98. Unfair? Imagine being a LGBTQ person who has to pee in NC. That's unfair.

  99. No, Charlotte has been being punished since the state government began interfering with its own overreach, hypocritically. The City of Charlotte will applaud actions backing up their stance, and any blowback falls squarely at the feet on the GOP State legislature. If the unfairness is to stop, unfetter Charlotte's pro-human rights law.

  100. Repeatedly, I read NC and MS business owners and associations like that of Ms. Hornsby say this is not what my state is about. But, the people of theses states knew who they elected to represent them in their legislatures and so rushing through a stupid bathroom law, that in NC also bans any form of discrimination suit from going to state courts and cuts off any local community initiatives on discrimination or pay, is what the majority of the people in NC and MS are indeed about. As long as the minions of Satan control the legislatures, this bigotry will be imbedded in our laws.

    I live in NC, and please, plan your vacation elsewhere. Tell your professional societies to look elsewhere for venues for annual meetings. And send a letter to the state tourism bureaus and let them know. I thank you for your support.

  101. I'm planning to move there, bring my business and host my conferences there. We are very grateful to a state that respects the rights and privacy of women and children.

  102. You belong there.

  103. Good for you. It's time we that feel that way stand up and be heard. The ones who are boycotting these states are using bully tactics.

  104. Seriously, those boycotts are toothless and useless. In a few months, assuming the law is unchanged, everyone will go on with their own businesses. Most would-be tourists won't even take a second to think about this law when they make travel plans.

  105. You are making some large and unwarranted assumptions there, zj. 1) The are obviously not toothless. They deprive NC and MS of real money and that'll return to bite the politicos behind the biased bills. You seem to presume that the public attention span is the cottering pin that precludes long lasting effect. That would only be the case if real rights of real Americans weren't being denied. As it is, the affected minorities will continue to make the issue newsworthy, as will's an election period, remember, and NC and MS moderate voters will suddenly feel they have a voice too, when the whole states begin the feel the pinch of embargo conditions on state and personal finances. All aggregated together, I'm quite sure your assertion will be incorrect and the states will back down or the current administrations will be voted out of office.

  106. Exactly. I certainly won't boycott either state.

  107. Quite the opposite. We have a house reserved in NC for this summer. I'm neither passionate, nor courageous, nor rich enough to cancel, but next year we'll go somewhere else. There are so many choices in this beautiful country. I don't need my vacation served with a side of moral guilt.

  108. Still in high school I found a book that, at least career wise, set me on my way: “Small is Beautiful” by E.F. Schumacher. I took away from that book the importance of scale and keeping things as local as possible. So this liberal southerner could always agree with his more conservative neighbors about the importance of local governments.

    I have always understood the call for small government to be joined hand-in-hand with the power of people voting with their feet. Principled republicans admit bad governmental decisions can and will happen at the local level, but the voting with ones feet will quickly check those decisions. Much easier to do that in a city than in a state they used to say.

    The Republicans of NC – no divided government at the moment so please paint with a narrow brush when you talk about North Carolinians – have taken it upon themselves to go against their “small government” principles again and again. Over the last several years, on many fronts, they have dismantled and stunted local control, and by doing so they have made it so that the only way one can “vote with your feet” is to move outside the state, rather than from one community to another inside the state.

    So, as much as it pains me to say it, vote with those dollars and keep them walking until something changes for the better in NC. This is an argument that my Republican friends can, if they are honest with themselves, understand and even support, at least in principle.

  109. I've never considered going to Mississippi. Their record of bigotry is too long and culturally ingrained, and it immediately disqualifies. North Carolina, on the other hand, is so painful for me because I got my doctorate in Chapel Hill and consider those years to be among my happiest. However, I can't in good conscience allow my sentimentality to cloud my decency. I've now crossed NC off the list of places I'm willing to visit. And, like MS, I won't buy anything made in NC.

  110. 'Linda G. Hornsby of the Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association said: “The first thing we did after the bill was passed was to put up a banner on our website that says ‘Everyone Is Welcome Here’ because that’s how we feel. This law is not what Mississippi is about.”'

    Well, this law IS what Mississippi is about. Your legislature, that you and your fellow citizens elected, passed this law. The governor, again, who you elected, signed it.

    If you want to prove to the rest of the US and the world, for that matter, that this is not what you are about, show it at the ballot box.

    Until then, you must reap what you have sown.

    And the same goes for North Carolina, obviously.

  111. The US military for many decades was overtly, openly, inarguably discriminatory against African Americans used every absurd excuse for their discrimination. Then despite the absurdity, used exactly the same arguments against LGBT. Until finally only in the last few years they have removed (as far as we know) this form of discrimination. But now the deep South, home of ignorance, racism, and the poverty and backwardness that goes hand in hand with it, still fight on to keep their "values". And they have the temerity to call it "Christian".

  112. As much as it pains me, we will not do our hiking in western NC this year. I cannot see giving my money to a section of the country that votes in conservative representatives who vote for discriminatory laws. The people choose who they want to represent them and the people of NC have spoken; but so can I and my money will not be spent in the restaurants, hotels or bars of North Carolina.

  113. Just plain silly....and completely unnecessary.

  114. "'We don’t want to spend our money in a state that discriminates against the L.G.B.T. community,'”

    I'd be far more impressed had the good professor stated, "We don’t want to spend our money in a state that discriminates."

  115. Excellent point, HapinOregon: The outraged here seem to forget Mississippi's long history of racial persecution of its citizens, and that Black tourists have long been made to feel unwelcome there and south of the Mason/Dixon line in general.

    For instance folks, have you frequented popular tourist dining establishments down there and noticed the dearth of Black patrons? Most likely it made no impression on you. We have a sixth sense as to where we are welcomed and not and so avoid the latter (along with subtle and not-so innuendo from the proprietors, staff and other diners). I'm always incredulous to see the travel/cooking programming on television where the host goes into a lily-White restaurant and makes no mention of the lack of diversity among the diners.

    Mississippi discrimination in particular did not begin with this law. I have never, and will never, set foot in that racist cesspool.

    As the old disco lyrics preach: "...No Black, no Jews and no gays...
    ("There But for the Grace of God," by Machine. 1980.)

  116. As I see it, the big mistake was made at the end of the Civil War. They wanted to secede--we should have left them to it. Now, instead of hidebound rubes shaking their fists, we'd have a third world country begging for help. Oh wait, we already give them much more then they contribute to our economy. Combined with federal aid and an agrarian and resentful nature, they are in practice, in not in fact, they have a third world attitude.
    While it may be too late to cut them loose, we could certainly move some of the existing products of the hateful federal government from their territory. New Jersey and Massachusetts both have ocean ports in need of income--let's move Norfolk Naval Base up north. And, upstate New York, Maine and parts of Ohio would probably welcome Camp Lejeune, Fort Hood and any number of camps, forts and installations in Kentucky Alabama. If they hate the federal government and spit on federal laws there is no reason why they have to tolerate federal money either.

  117. Well the NC General Assembly starts their " short session" on Monday and the Senate leader Phil Berger insists HB2 will not even be discussed. Berger, who is from a very rural area, insists the majority of North Carolinians are for this hateful bill. He is arrogant and stubborn and will not give an inch. The governor is basically powerless, as well as spineless.

  118. As a life-long resident of Mississippi I can confirm that this state is a world unto itself. The critical condemnation raining down upon our politicians wins them attaboys and fawning praise among their constituents, who consider their actions courageous and in keeping with the Supreme estimate of moral courage. Make no mistake, this is exclusively about good ole boy local politics--white rule and covert bigotry. Our governor would be hard pressed to find job as a mattress salesperson in a progressive community, but that's just the way the majority here seems to like it. My apology to mattress salespersons everywhere.

  119. It is hard for outsiders to respond to a state whose government is acting to restrict voting and penalize difference. I know that many North Carolinians are even more offended by these events as it effects their daily life. The only ways I can respond is to not go there not even to visit family, to not buy products produced there, to put pressure on businesses that operate there or are headquartered there by removing myself front there customer lists and to promote their leaving the state. If enough of this external activity goes on, perhaps wisdom and justice can prevail. It is a beautiful state and has a lot to offer the nation, but solidarity against evil is the only way to overcome this truly regressive and cruel situation. You have to fight bigotry; to ignore is to encourage it. Act don't just talk.

  120. Measures to welcome LGBT tourists miss the point. Laws like these get passed because either a majority of voters demand them or a majority of voters who are willing to be vocal demand them. Maybe the economics will cause enough pain to force those who oppose discrimination laws to voice their opposition and apply the pressure needed to get them overturned. One can hope.

  121. "Laws like these get passed because either a majority of voters demand them or a majority of voters who are willing to be vocal demand them"

    No they do not. They get passed because NC is gerrymandered to the extreme since 2010 and project REDMAP, paid for by the Koch Billionaie Cosortium. It doesn;t matter if the voters vote democratic in NC. The state ios so gerrymandered that there will still be GOP majorities in the NC senate, and this cannot change unless the dems get a majority by 2020 and get to redo the gerrymandering. You have to iunderstand how redistricting works, and how some conservative biliionaires perverted the process to unbderstand what happened in NC. This article will help:

  122. If the actions and ideas now proposed do not convince these states to repeal these really odd and un-needed laws, I propose we do something drastic. Pick a day or a week when all of us who look like women deliberately and visually use mens rooms everywhere. At the same time people who look like men stand in line to use the ladies room. Unisex rooms everywhere would solve the problem. But something else is needed to clear up narrow spirited people's thoughts. I must think on it.

  123. Ever been in a public men's restroom? That's what I use when necessary, and I don't understand why any woman would want to share the often-squalid public restrooms used by men. (I don't know if public women's restrooms are any different.) Indeed, unisex restrooms would be a fine solution if men could be properly trained to respect others. Don't hold your breath.

  124. I like this idea. I thought about it. What is NC going to do, when all these "seemingly" females (and males) use the bathrooms of their birth? Is NC going to hire a Middle-eastern style morality police force to check everyone's baggage to verify they are in the right bathroom?

  125. It's been suggested by some to have a monitor. There is a Representative who wants teachers to monitor, check, children who go to the lav.
    New name: Genital Police.

  126. As a North Carolina native, now living in the Northwest, I have back to my home state every year for over 20 years, and stayed for about 2 weeks each visit. While there, I spend money on hotels, restaurants, gifts and other merchandise that I ship back home. I also give out a scholarship. That trip won't be happening this year. I am the child of NC progressives in what was arguably for generations the most progressive of southern states. I'm glad my parents aren't alive to have to live in what has become a Republican led very backward state. How in the world do the enlightened people who live in the Research Triangle stand it?

  127. Enlightened? You're kidding me. It's more of a bullying, that wants to shove immoral behavior down others' throats. I'm astounded that being "enlightened" includes accepting immoral behavior and actions. Just goes to show how so many blindly follow others.

  128. Immoral behavior? The law did not speak at all about any immoral behavior, rather the back woods, rural Rs decided to tell Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham/Chapel Hill- the thriving progressive areas of the state, what they can do in their own communities, and they decided to codify discrimination against certain individuals who pay taxes just like you and everybody else. Religious bigots shouldn't be legislating "morality" as you define it. It's a very sad day for my home state.

  129. "Immoral" being those trying to interdict human rights you mean? Or are you suggesting these gender issues are immoral? If the latter, by whose yardstick? Not by the majority of Americans. And if you suggest they are just "following the leader" why wouldn't the same apply to the other side?

  130. Having been a Raleigh resident for over 20 years, this entire string of developments is heartbreaking. I've witnessed first-hand the incredible growth the Triangle has seen in not only the realms of art, music, cuisine, but the sweepingly progressive and embracing attitudes such growth has fostered among both the transplant and local portions of the population.

    While I deeply respect icons in the corporate and entertainment spheres that have cancelled their investments in the state, be them business ventures or performances, those actions serve as a bright bandaid for a deep bullethole.

    Raleigh is proof of concept for the Modernized South. Teaming with young professionals attracted to the climate, cost of living, and expanding cultural opportunities, this city (like Durham and Chapel Hill) is instrumental in radiating that progressive growth outward.

    In order for that trajectory to continue we need the rest of the civilized nation to keep investing here. Whether that means moving and raising families here, showcasing your art, or developing business ties, any such contribution can help foster the environment needed for an empowered voter base to take back the state Congress and, Sir Walter willing, get back on the path forward.

  131. Don't hold your breath. If NC residents keep voting for state representatives who pass bills like HB2, the rest of the "civilized nation" will invest with states which demonstrate their trajectory for progress with real action.

  132. Fantastic! That means less crowded beaches at the Outer Banks. Now if they could only pass that law in Hawaii...

  133. If they passed a law banning Jews and Blacks and Hispanics and Muslims and Catholics and Asians, imagine the enormous crowd of people who'd protest by staying away! And Paulo, just imagine how happy you'd be to benefit from all that discrimination! Why put up with all that moral riffraff crowding your beach?

  134. So if someone is a trans woman without surgery, she should go into the men's room, since her birth certificate reads male? And that won't make some of the men in the bathroom feel upset? Has Mr McCrory actually thought this thing through?

  135. Unfortunately the people who get hurt by the cancellations are the wrong ones. The governor and legislatures won't suffer at all

  136. Ultimately they are - lower tax revenues, sullied reputations. It is unfortunate that most social actions also effect people who might even agree with the activist, but that's an unfortunate part of living in something called "Society"

  137. Well, maybe the "wrong ones" will vote and get out the vote next election cycle.

  138. There's a simple solution to this issue. Put the proposed change to the law on the ballot in the upcoming general election in November. Let the residents of the state decide the issue, not the legislators.

  139. No changes necessary, repeal the whole darned law. It is far more than just bathroom restriction, it has also taken all power away from local governments including increasing the minimum wage in their cities. The right to sue to address unlawful treatment, etc.

  140. A friend and I are traveling to South Carolina for a short vacation at Hilton Head in June. We've already decided that, while we have to drive through North Carolina to get to our destination, we won't be stopping anywhere in North Carolina unless absolutely necessary (to visit a rest stop restroom, perhaps). We'll top off the gas tank before entering the state and will have no need to purchase food along the way. The only thing NC will be getting from us is perhaps some urine.

  141. Hope you had your birth certificates ...

  142. Lady traveller....If you must use the ladies room, please saunter in dressed as manly as possible. Bring your birth certificate and test the law.

  143. Talk about unintended consequences! Last week while traveling through North Carolina I realized that I'd forgotten to bring along my birth certificate. Imagine my consternation (or was that constipation?)...when I realized that I really had to go...but didn't know quite where I COULD I had no choice but to pull into the back of a store's lot and went behind a dumpster. Funny how that word has taken on a whole new meaning for me.

  144. LOL! Very good.

  145. It's going to take a tsunami of support for Democrats in the state legislature to overcome the gerrymandering after the Tea Party tide of 2010 brought NC to this point. NC is a case study of what happens when you have unopposed Republican rule. Observe and take note, America! NC is what conservative Republican utopia looks like.

    That said, there is a LOT of outrage among voters in NC. HB2 is the Republican's dare to try to vote them out in 2016. We may not be able to elect a Democratic majority in the General Assembly, but if we can pare thè

  146. isn't it great that by merely passing a law, men can be kept out of ladies rooms and ladies can be kept out of men's rooms?

    it was such a pressing problem; thanks so much to those onward christian soldiers addressing the actual problems of society today.

    when using the ladies room in NC or MS, my wife can now feel perfectly safe knowing that the full force of the law will shield her from being accosted while she goes about her 'business'.

    of course, we won't be visiting either state, but if we did, boy would we feel safe!

  147. I have family there so it's hard to say I will never go. But I will definitely encourage them to visit me in Seattle first!

  148. Meet in the middle ... in Vegas!

  149. In reality, the binary division of male and female restrooms (and gender in general) is a social construct meant to further marginalize the oppressed. It is a continuation of the reprehensible "separate but equal" doctrine and a violation of the fourteenth amendment. HB2 is a final desperate attempt by the state of North Carolina to uphold the legacy of Plessy v. Ferguson.

  150. If you believe for a second that "everyone" is welcome in Mississippi, you are sadly mistaken.

  151. As a travel writer, I receive a lot of feedback from tourism boards around the world and most mention how important LGBT travel is to their economy. I wonder if the Visitor Boards of these states were even consulted with such drastic decision. Tourism, especially in seasonal towns in both states are huge economic drivers. I bet these states will complain when they have to pick up the tab for unemployment, medicaid, and the such when people are out of jobs. It seems unjust that politicians don't see the larger picture when it comes to the economic development of their states.

  152. Ditto from this longtime travel writer.

  153. All gays, lesbians and transgender people are around 2.5% of the total population.

    I doubt many of them are really choosing to travel to NC and Mississippi anyways. Most live in big urban areas.

    LGBQT people do not travel more than (say) older baby boomers, who are retired and have loads of free time & money. Baby boomers are about 25% of the population. LGBQT = 2.5% of the population.

    I'd worry more about attracting boomers.

  154. concerned citizen,
    well I am a older baby boomer who won't be traveling to these states that practice discrimination, and even write laws to protect it in 2016.

  155. I'm amazed that these were the problems the legislatures decided to spend their time on. How did transgender bathroom use rise to the top of the heap as an issue requiring legislation?

    And whether it's a man in the ladies room, or vice-versa, seems like they'd be in their own stall, right? so what's the problem?

  156. This is their pushback from marriage equality.

  157. Get with the program! You probably didn't think flag-burning was a big deal, and just look what's happened to our country since the flag-burning amendment didn't get ratified!

  158. What, exactly, does flag burning have to do with the subject?

  159. Always welcome ...
    except in the bathrooms

  160. Just one more reason not to go to Mississippi.

  161. Our extended family was planning to rent one of the beach houses in the Outer Banks late this summer. We have 14 family members from the UK, Washington, DC, SoCal and PA that are now changing our plans. Unfortunately, we are losing a deposit on the beach house (partial is refunded). Luckily nobody had purchased airline tickets yet. It's hard to find those big houses in other states, but seems that we've got a few Florida options. Unfortunate for all of us (as we have fond memories of many Outer Bank trips), but as long as we're all together. And this is a family that includes Republicans, Air Force officer and a Navy officer. We're all in agreement on this one. No debates from any member of the family.

  162. You can find some nice new big houses in the Surfside Beach/Garden City Beach Area just south of Myrtle Beach. Also further south in Litchfield and Pawleys Island. The Outer Banks are so wonderful -- too bad they're attached to that hateful state.

  163. You can find those big houses at the Delaware beaches and around Ocean City, New Jersey (in South Jersey), with major airports not too far a driving distance away.

  164. Florida and South Carolina are just as conservative as NC and Mississippi -- maybe MORE so.

    So you are not making a point at all. If you must vacation in a lefty liberal paradise, may I suggest Cape Cod (MA)?

  165. Almost every summer over many years back to the 1980s my family has rented a home for a week on the Outer Banks of North Carolina to enjoy the beautiful beaches. Not this year.

  166. Ms Hornsby , we know what Mississippi is about, your bigotry is ingrained and go ahead and embrace it.That would be without the support of the larger and increasingly larger majority that is not homophobic, racist, or misogynist. The south will find itself increasingly left behind in a more interconnected world.SAME AS IT EVER WAS.

  167. According to Random House Dictionary a bigot is "a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion." This definition could be quite aptly applied to those enforcing the LGBT agenda. The LGBT agenda is Orwellian. It goes beyond influencing policy to policing one's very thoughts. Watch out. If you let slip that your values differ from the LGBT agenda, then you will be mercilessly punished.

  168. You're suggesting that people should not be permitted to use their pocketbooks to register dissatisfaction with something? That there is something immoral about that?

  169. So I assume this is how you justify your bigotry?

  170. There is no LGBT agenda, I hate to tell you. But there are those who are intolerant of intolerance. Is that what you mean?

  171. Mississippi is a travel destination?

  172. I know it is hard to imagine, but I got this nice brochure once and thought about it.

  173. Yes, it is one of the key industries--stately homes on the Mississippi, the music trail with Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmie Rodgers, Faulkner's home. It has a rich literary heritage, and almost 100 writers have opposed this bill.

  174. I am literally sick of hearing how people who consider themselves "gay" are being discriminated against because they're expected to use the correct gender-based restrooms. I, along with millions of others, am being discriminated against by expecting me to be subjected to sharing a bathroom with an opposite gendered person. When and where in the world did we get so off-based to think it's acceptable to mix genders in one of the most private settings there is? I'm just shaking my head at the absurd stupidity of the ones who think this is okay. It's not!!!!! We clear thinking people have got to stand up against this ridiculousness. Sometimes I think people start absurd issues like this just to see how stupidly and blindly everyone else follows along. Common sense and decency, where are you???????? If these dim-thinking people want a non-gender bathroom, then bow down to them and build ones just for them. As for the rest of us, DO NOT expect us to share!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  175. Oh Barbara, I'm so sorry you're "literally sick" from this issue. I hope my attempt at clearing up all the misinformation in your post aids in a speedy recovery. First, "people who consider themselves gay" are actually called gay by the rest of the world, and believe it or not, scare quotes are not needed. These gay people have actually been using the bathrooms that correspond to their birth gender since the advent of the first public bathrooms. The North Carolina law does nothing to address this issue, so if you want gay men in your ladies' bathrooms you'll have to pass another law. And second, the transgendered people who are the real target of the North Carolina law have been using bathrooms that correspond to their current gender for a long time now in many states, and absolutely no untoward incidents have been reported. And keep in mind that this new law is forcing people born female but have fully transitioned to male to use the women's bathroom. So if the most important issue making you sick is the possible presence of male genitalia in your public restroom, please remember that this law will actually be prolonging your illness. And my parting tip, I recommend conserving your energy in your weakened state by using just one punctuation mark in place of the long string of question marks and exclamation points that you seem to favor.

    Get Better Soon!

  176. In Europe perfectly straight people share public bathrooms. Check out the public bathrooms in Paris, etc.

  177. If you use a bathroom to check out others genitalia then perhaps YOU are the one with the problem. And last time I checked Barbara, public restrooms all have stalls/locks. So unless you're creeping under doors i think you're safe.

  178. State laws prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations:
    Colorado (since 2008): "No problems reported."
    Connecticut (since 2011) "Unaware of any problems"
    Hawaii (since 2006) "No reported rape or sexual assaults"
    Iowa (since 2007) "No reported cases of sexual assault"
    Maine (since 2005)" No increase in sexual assaults, no incidents reported"
    Massachusetts (since 1997) "No incidences of abuse"
    Minnesota (since 1993) "Not even remotely a problem"
    Nevada (since 2011) "No increase in sex crimes."
    New Mexico (since 2003) "Unaware of any cases of assault"
    Oregon (since 2007) "No incidents of LGBT assaults"
    Rhode Island (since 2001) "No increase in sex crimes"
    Vermont (since 2007) "Not aware of any effect on criminal activity."
    North Carolina - Unaware and ignorant, and a lot poorer for it.

  179. Since they should not make a law unless they are willing to enforce it. They should be looking to hire a bunch of people to check birth certificates at each rest room or are they planning to force restaurant owners to hire these people?

  180. That is exactly what I've been thinking!
    Which is proof it is a law looking for a problem.
    And created by those "small government" Republicans!!

  181. Maybe I would travel to Mississippi or North Carolina if their tourism boards would pay me to do so. Just kidding!

  182. NY Times: Could you please stop referring to the HB 2 in NC and a transgender bathroom law because that's not all it is. It's as if you've bought into the rhetoric laid out by the Governor and R legislators. The law also removed sexual and gender orientation from any local anti-discrimination laws because the statewide law left it out on purpose. I'm one of those people originally from NC who would like to go home for a vacation, but I cannot as long as they want to discriminate against me and people like me.

  183. Yes, yes, and yes! The ban from suing for discrimination is far more serious than the transgender aspect. After all, who is going to check birth certificates?

  184. The citizens in those states ARE responsible and don't welcome everybody! Just like in the national election we get what we vote for. And those who didn't vote are as responsible.

  185. Why is Trump dangerous? He segregate people into groups and peach discrimination of one group vs the other. That was exactly how Hitler rose to power. As liberals, we must not fall into the same narrow, uncharitable, mindset. Yes, NC citizens voted in the current government. However, there are a large fraction of NC citizens voted against this bigot governor and lost. Are we abandoning many good people who will fight with us against injustice just because they live in NC? While I support pressuring these states by taking our business away, let's recognize that many good people are hurt because of the bigotry of the many.

  186. About half of the "residents" of North Carolina don't approve of these officials or their practices. Raleigh, Charlotte and Asheville are all enlightened but the General Assembly wanted to punish them, which is what started this whole mess.

  187. NC will indeed pay a prolonged and significant price for its leaders’ bigotry, and not just in tourism. They think this will just blow over, but they are wrong. High growth companies – the kind growing in, and moving to NC – are driven by talent. Now that corporations go to such great lengths to avoid hiring permanent employees, when they do hire them, these employees are more precious than any tax incentives or business friendly laws. In the new economy, almost all corporate planning and strategy centers around finding and keeping talent.

    The economic miracle that has been NC has been completely based on the availability, or willingness to move here, of this talent. That’s why I brought my company and its now 500 highly paid employees here. The talent that drives the new economy can be liberal or conservative, but they uniformly have no tolerance for bigotry of any kind directed at any group for any reason. They care about these social issues in ways the old guard just can’t comprehend. They also become a potent political force when given sufficient reason to engage, so the old guard may learn a hard lesson in generational divides. But in any event, this is a fundamental change and will not blow over until bigotry of all forms is blown out of NC.

  188. Not to mention the backlash against consumer products from existing providers. Already an issue here for other places.

  189. Time to move your company again, Bob. People like you need to put your money where your mouth is.

  190. I would be very interested to know what, if anything, your company intends to do to persuade the NC legislature to rescind this law, as well as other pernicious NC legislation, such as the Voter ID (read: suppression) law.

  191. I pass through North Carolina on a regular basis and will no longer gas up or spend nights there. South Carolina and Virginia will be the beneficiaries of my travel dollars. That antiquated bigotry train left the station a long time ago.

  192. Yep, not going. Ever.

  193. Two things that are missing so far:

    First: the Times ought to follow-up & dig a bit: how much have these "protesting" companies contributed to putting these Taliban, Christian Sharia legislators, and Warden McCrory, in office? And, how much to support Rafael Cruz & his boy's presidential run, who have appeared more than once, and accepted endorsements from, even more Christian "religious" leaders who advocate vigorously for and encourage murder of LGBT people -- putting them right up there with ISIS, Saudi Arabia, and mob justice in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan; and

    Second: The true evil of these laws, especially evident in the non-bathroom provisions of the NC law -- freedom to discriminate much more broadly, probation against discrimination lawsuits in state courts, prohibition of local initiatives broadly, etc. -- is the whole concept of "freedom of religion", but not yours -- that of the Christian sharia fundamentalist hard right.

    The Hobby Lobby SCOTUS/Scalia brand: what essentially is the holding of that case, and that is quickly becoming the law of the land, Indiana, MS, NC, and spreading quicker in the US than Zika: "sincerely held religious beliefs" trump your rights, as in discrimination vs. gay marriage, transgender bathroom issues, etc.

    But also by trumping an employee's rights regarding contraception coverage

    Just imagine: interracial marriage? hiring decisions? sales? rentals? equality?

    Freedom of Religion. It's right there in the Constitution.

  194. Freedom of Religion is a great gift to the people. Freedom from religion is even more important.

  195. Yes, Freedom from religion IS important -- and you can support the Freedom from Religion Foundation,

  196. To all the young people energized by Bernie Sanders this year, this is a good example of why you must stay involved at the local and state level! The possibility for change does not happen once every four years. Vote in your local and state elections.

  197. The President of the United States does not make these state laws.

  198. @nowadays - Truth! It's critical to vote in EVERY election!

  199. The UK issued an advisory warning citizens about travel to those states.

  200. I recommend cities for large group meetings. North Carolina is now out of consideration.

  201. If the NY times respects itself even slight (which i've come to doubt recently with their biased election coverage) then they should stop providing any service to those states. Block all IPs originating from hubs in those states, stop all delivery and cancel all subscriptions in those states, and blacklist all travel to those states for your journalists unless their sole purpose of going is to write about how bigoted they are and the status of repealing the law. Doing otherwise is morally and ethically unforgivable.

  202. We always go to the outer banks or St. George Isle in Fla. Guess it's Fla. from now on.

  203. For everyone saying that Mississippi should just vote for different people, the Democratic candidate for governor in 2015 was a truck driver with no political experience. He won the primary because he was the only male and was first on the ballot. The Democratic party is moribund in Mississippi.

  204. It used to be democratic until desegregation.

  205. Why is that

  206. Do we as a nation really want to make it illegal to label public restrooms as either "men" or "women"? Apparently that will be the next step.

  207. No, that's a giant leap.

  208. How about singleton bathrooms, 1 person only per bathroom? Who the heck wants to share a bathroom with strangers anyway?

  209. "This law is not what Mississippi is about.” Actually, if a legislature that is elected by the people of Mississippi passes a law that singles out a definable group of people for discriminatory treatment, then it is really not arguable that is EXACTLY and PRECISELY what Mississippi is about.

  210. This, and obesity, has forever and always been what Mississippi is about.

  211. Mississippi - the state that consistently ranks last in everything that's good (literacy, healthcare, longevity, etc.) , and first in everything that's bad (violent crime, infant mortality, missing teeth, etc.). I'm waiting for Louisiana and all the other southern-tier states to pass their own anti-LGBT laws soon.

  212. You forgot to list obesity. Apparently most of the pork in the US is from Mississippi, and we're not talking bacon.

  213. I am trying to decide if it just the politicians that are idiots in these states. After seeing the responses from these elected officials, I would be more worried abut being caught in a bathroom or locker room with them than just about anyone else. This is ignorant at all sorts of levels. C'mon people. Elect someone with some brains.

  214. I belong to probably the most privileged demographic in history - white, male, heterosexual, Christian, American.

    I'm also old enough to remember the "White Only" signs at bathrooms and water fountains in the South.

    And I am very discouraged to see another form of bathroom bigotry reappear 60 years later.

    And appalled that this "movement" is apparently coming from supposedly "Christian" organizations.

    From my reading of the Bible, Jesus seemed to spend a lot more time loving and understanding the outcast than He did condemning them.

    These "bathroom bills" embody no discernible Christian love and, even worse, show zero effort to understand the issues or the people they are affecting.

    The hastily approved HB2 creates far more problems than the imaginary ones it purports to solve, stigmatizes innocent people, promotes ignorance, and is an embarrassment to to the idea of a civilized and progressive North Carolina.

  215. I agree with you on principle, Wheezy, although I would not deign to place the LGBT community in your Biblical "outcast" category. Jesus does not have to love them any more than anyone else, so neither do you. If you are going to consider LGBTs as a "group," then rather than considering them as outcasts, you would have to describe them as highly educated, economically sound, and politically erudite. In other words, as a group, LGBTs are far more valuable to American society than the politicians who persecute them.

  216. I'm old enough to remember the "Whites Only" signs at bathrooms and water fountains in Pennsylvania. It's no accident that Jackie Robinson was not welcome when he played away games in Philadelphia.

    I'm sorry to say that once I'd met enough people to develop a valid opinion, I gave up on my fellow Christians and their religion.

  217. The slaveholder, segregationist mentality may be ebbing away slowly, though I cannot see that. Lynchings are down though police shooting unarmed blacks is a cause for concern..

  218. Economics will drive change or contribute to it significantly when recalcitrant or ignorant legislators will not. This is true whether the topic is climate change or LGBT rights.

  219. I imagine a lot of businesses in these two states figure this will soon blow over. Not likely.

  220. The legislators are in office because not enough people vote.

  221. We've cancelled plans to visit family with our 3 kids, one of whom is transgender, in the Outer Banks; I wrote to Governor McCrory to tell him why. You can share your thoughts, too:

  222. Thank you for posting that link, Marie. I didn't know about it. I have just sent in my e-letter to the governor.

  223. Thanks for the link - I just emailed him.

  224. I think there is an opportunity for creative non-violent protest in NC. Specifically, I would like to see Caitlyn Jenner and her transgender female friends go there to the state capitol and, in concordance with the state law, just spend all day in the men's room as dictated by their birth certificates. That would really teach the lawmakers a lesson about getting what you wish for.

  225. Yes, Caitlyn, where are you? NC needs you.

  226. I bet the pro-business folks at ALEC did not count on the NC legislators using ALEC's own playbook to quickly draft and pass HB2 - and lose them a lot of business as a result.

    Is it "Hateful Bill Two" or is it just another "Horrible Bill Too"?

  227. One way to get the residents of these states to pressure their legislators to repeal the anti-LGBT laws would be for Amazon to refuse to ship anything to an address in those states.

  228. That penalizes the people demonstrating, writing letters and making phone calls.

  229. If they want to let only genitalia to define who gets admitted to a bathroom, I suggest that a bunch of good old fashioned New York City drag queens go down to North Carolina and put on a old fashioned drag show for them in the men's room! It would be hilarious to watch them good ole boys run out in horror.

  230. N.C. and Mississippi don't specify how these are enforced, so your suggestion is a good one. Also, they could arrest someone who is not LGBT. And in Mississippi, if you are an unmarried couple or divorced, you can be booted. And they have guns everywhere, even in churches.

  231. Oh PLEASE, PLEASE! If only Divine were alive, I know she'd do it...

  232. Count me and my wife in on the "avoid the North Carolina" bandwagon. I've written the governor to say that we usually stay twice a year in the state on our way south, and then north. No longer. It is getting ever more difficult to find U.S. states where the level of tolerance meets our standards.

  233. Try good ole Louisiana. We have a democratic governor now, and they can't even arrest people for being gay anymore! (Don't mention it though, still a touchy issue, there was a whole mixup a few years back with a sheriff who thought Lawrence V Texas was more a rough guideline than law...) Anyhoo, on second thought, if you're looking for US states that meet your admirable, if lofty standard of tolerance, I'd recommend Massachussettes. Lovely beaches. Tolerance to spare. Or maybe Vermont. No beaches, but plenty of trees. And the people there won't care if you sprout three heads, as long as you don't eat GMOs. If you're looking for a tolerant state in the south, I wish you luck. But to be honest, I don't think such a thing ever existed, with or without the bathroom laws.

  234. No more Outer Banks. The Delaware beaches are very nice. Also Ocean City, Maryland.

  235. If you miss the Outer Banks, go to Assateague and Chincoteague (VA and MD). They are lovely. Have incredible seafood and chincoteague oysters are really the best in the nation.

  236. Come to Milton, DE- historic town, theater, arts community on the Broadkill river. just minutes to beaches.

  237. I agree. Been there. It's lovely! No NC for me.

  238. As my Kansas grandma used to say, The chickens are coming home to roost.

  239. You reap what you sow.

    So wrapped up in their deep prejudice, they could not even see this happening?

  240. Republicans, members of the so-called "pro-business" party, seem to never tire of demonstrating how extraordinarily dumb they are. At an actual corporation, they'd make up the Sales Prevention Department.

  241. "Oxford in particular is a big tourist draw. ....the visitor spending there in 2015 was $134.8 million according to the local tourist council 'Visit Oxford.'"

    As Mississippi voters continue to elect officials who are backward and bigoted, I'll continue to follow Bob Dylan's advice:

    Oxford town, Oxford town
    Ev'rybody's got their heads bowed down
    Sun don't shine above the ground
    Ain't a-goin' down to Oxford town.

    That goes for North Carolina as well.

  242. Well, Cirque du Soleil has cancelled three upcoming shows in NC, so I won't be headed to Greensboro to see the terrific "OVO" next week, or staying in a hotel or eating in restaurants, or doing any shopping. The ticket refund and other money saved I've given to Equality NC, the state's LGBT rights organization, and to the campaign of Democrat Roy Cooper, who has a decent shot at defeating that GOP jackdaw Pat McCrory. Why should I travel to a state which by government decree denies my basic humanity, and which, via law and politics, demonizes gays, lesbians and transgender citizens of the USA?

  243. Cirque from what I understand have performed and will perform in Muslim majority middle eastern countries that arrest or worse yet kill gays and lesbians. I'm boycotting them for their hypocrisy.

  244. Doubt it...

  245. I don't see how using a washroom, public or not, is a basic human right or how the NC law denies your basic humanity. If we are going to have only two sets of washrooms in public installations, some rules would be good as gender identification categories multiply. Since, as come commenters have observed, there have been no issues with the status quo - having rules that mirror the status quo shouldn't be seen as a insult so intolerable that the economy of an entire state should be hobbled on purpose. I wonder how many LGBT employees in the NC hospitality industry are being negatively effected.