Employees and officials representing the state of California will no longer be able to travel on business to destinations with pro-discrimination legislation such as a “bathroom bill” that demands transgender people use toilets according to their birth sex. Currently, North Carolina is the only state with such legislation on the books, though its lawmakers have been embroiled in a bitter debate regarding a possible repeal of the law.
The legislation has drawn criticism from human rights groups who say it targets the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community with laws intended to deny them the right to choose restrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity. For the 2017 legislative season, 11 states including Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming have variations of the North Carolina law on their dockets. Indiana enacted such a law last year but rescinded it after an extreme blowback threatened to upend the state’s economic health due to lost meetings and events. North Carolina has suffered similar consequences, with the estimated lost revenue to the state adding up to more than $600 million. Among the high profile events to leave North Carolina after the bill passed was the NBA all-star game, though scores of meeting planners also said they would not consider the state for future events.
Business associations in many of the states considering bathroom bills are imploring lawmakers to not adopt the legislation, citing the repercussions experienced by Indiana and North Carolina.