HB2 opponents remind of loss of All Star Game - | WBTV Charlotte

HB2 opponents remind of loss of All Star Game

(John Sparks | WBTV) (John Sparks | WBTV)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

As NBA All Star Weekend in New Orleans winds down, people in Charlotte are left wondering what could have been.

Groups against the controversial law, House Bill 2, gathered outside the Spectrum Center Sunday to voice their opposition, after the law caused the NBA to pull this year's All Star Game out of Charlotte.

"How many games are we going to lose, because we can't get this fixed," said Noah Barrow, a part-owner of the Mellow Mushroom in Uptown.

Barrow, as well as other business owners, Equality NC, and the Human Rights Campaign, said the law needs to be repealed for both economic and civil rights reasons.

According to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority - that cost the city $100 million in economic impact.

Barrow said HB2 has already hurt him, after the ACC Football Championship was pulled from the city, which cost him 25 percent of his business that week, compared to his revenue the same championship week the year before.

"Those economic impacts are real. I'm not going to tell you how to fix it. I'm not going to tell you what to do to try to fix it. I'm just going to say as a business owner, something's gotta be done. We're not going to lose this economy that we built," Barrow said.

In December, there was a compromise in place. If Charlotte City Council repealed the non-discrimination ordinance, the NC General Assembly would repeal HB2. City Council repealed the ordinance, but the General Assembly did not repeal the law before adjourning.

Equality NC's Matt Hirschy said it looks like it will be an uphill battle to get a full repeal.

"North Carolina Republicans chose to legislate hate, and hold our fine city hostage."

Hirschy, as well as other business leaders, said this law goes beyond the economic impact.

"As bad as HB2 has been for economy, it's been even worse for our LGBTQ Community," Hirschy said.

On the first day of the current legislative session, Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger said a repeal of HB2 was still a possibility.

"I think it's possible for some type of arrangement. I think it's going to take compromise on both sides," said Berger.

WBTV reached out to the NC Values Coalition - a group in support of House Bill 2 - but still have not heard back from them.

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