Conservative politicians in North Carolina have spent much of the past year pushing forward what’s commonly referred to as the “bathroom bill”. As it currently stands, it would require people to use public restrooms labeled for their assigned gender at birth, putting many transgender people in harms way not to mention violently reinforcing transphobic gender norms.
Public response to the bill has been negative as multiple businesses, artists and national organizations have put a hold on supporting any ventures in the state. Despite this, government officials in support of the bill have stood firm behind the claim that there won’t be any negative effects on the state’s economy.
The Associated Press has found that North Carolina could lose as much as $3.76 billion over a 12 year period if the controversial bill is passed and made into law. Through research and interviews, AP found numerous instances where businesses either freezing plans to add jobs to the state or removing their presence altogether.
PayPal, for example, was in the middle of building a new facility that would add more than 400 jobs in Charlotte and $2.66 billion to the state’s economy. However, the plan was scrapped by CEO Dan Schulman after the bill was announced. Other notable organizations that have put ties with the state on hold include Adidas, the NAACP and the NCAA, which plans to leave North Carolina out as an option of places to hold championships up until 2022.
“We now know that, based on conservative estimates, North Carolina’s economy stands to lose nearly $4 billion because of House Bill 2,” said Democrat Governor Roy Cooper. “That means fewer jobs and less money in the pockets of middle class families. We need to fix this now.”
Republicans contest that the billions of dollars in losses will only be a sliver of the state’s projected income over that time period and shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. If you ask me, being willing to lose almost $4 billion just to force people to use different bathrooms sounds a lot like blowing things out of proportion already. It also seems like another way to legislate gender and invade the privacy of our most vulnerable American citizens.