Washington, D.C. — Laura E. Durso, the Senior Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement after the National Basketball Association, or NBA, announced that it would move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from North Carolina as a direct result of that state’s outright discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, Americans.
With today’s announcement, the evidence could not be any clearer that there are significant economic consequences for states that actively promote and enable discrimination against LGBT people. Moving the game is a firm rebuke of the anti-LGBT legislation that continues to be pushed in states across the country—including places such as Indiana—and demonstrates that you cannot be pro-business and pro-discrimination at the same time. The supporters of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 have lost or put at risk more than a half-billion dollars in private-sector economic activity, including the millions of dollars that accompany the NBA All-Star Game. Research shows that professional sports fans welcome LGBT-supportive stances such as the ones taken by Commissioner Adam Silver today, and these actions mark a new era in LGBT-inclusion in athletics and in public life.
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