This Just In: Boycott of N.C. Over Bathroom Bill Dies With a Whimper

The economic boycott of North Carolina over the state’s controversial “bathroom law” that requires men and women to use their respective bathrooms in public facilities is a failure.

As reported by Bradford and Valerie Richardson in the Washington Times:

Tourism has thrived: Hotel occupancy, room rates and demand for rooms set records in 2016, according to the year-end hotel lodging report issued last week by VisitNC, part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

Meanwhile, North Carolina ranked fourth in the nation for attracting and expanding businesses with the arrival of 289 major projects, and seventh in projects per capita — the same as in 2015, according to Site Selection magazine, which released its 2016 rankings in the March edition.

North Carolina finished first for drawing corporate facilities in the eight-state South Atlantic region, said Site Selection, which uses figures tracked by the Conway Projects Database.

And in November, both Forbes and Site Selection magazine ranked North Carolina the No. 2 state for business climate.

Also unscathed was the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which registered at 5.3 percent in January 2016 and 5.3 percent in January 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite NC Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest saying that the effect of the boycott was “less than on-tenth of 1 percent” of the state’s annual gross domestic product, opponents of the law say that doesn’t tell the whole story. Chris Sgro of Equality NC says the state could have done much better if HB2 had been repealed.

“It is a universally agreed-upon fact at this point that HB2 is hurting the state of North Carolina economically,” Sgro told the Washington Times reporters.

While “what might have been” is difficult to quantify, it’s clear that the boycott, which was aimed at punishing hardworking North Carolinians because they value the privacy and security of women, wasn’t as effective as opponents of the law hoped.

HB2 came about in reaction to a Charlotte city ordinance in which all businesses — not just public institutions, but privately owned businesses as well — were required to permit men who claimed to be women (and vice versa) to use the bathroom of their choice. This would have allowed men free access to a previously private space reserved for women, and it would have involved government intrusion into the private sphere by telling business owners what they can and can’t do with their bathrooms.

This violation of the private property rights is often ignored in this debate, but it is an important point. Leftists seek to expand government in the name of “social justice,” exposing their statist agenda, which reduces freedom for all Americans.