North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law Will Cost State More Than $3.76 Billion

But a recent AP analysis reveals just how devastating of an impact the law has had on the states economy.

Judging by the list the AP compiled, using interviews and public records requests, HB2 clearly does not sit well with a variety of businesses and entertainers that don't want to endorse such hateful legislation.

Large corporations aren't the only ones pulling out of North Carolina. Even a state that's growing as quickly as North Carolina has been would be insane to sit by and watch as business flee, all as a result of one piece of legislation that was on the wrong side of history the day it was brought to the floor. A number of concerts, conventions, and sporting events have chose to boycott the state, leaving it $196 million short.

But while the AP made the bold prediction, it also admitted that the state has the 10th fastest growing economy in the nation since the law's inception. Much like similar measures that ignited firestorms in Arizona and in, the bill would allow in residents a judicial right action if they feel state and local governments are infringing on their religious liberties.

"We're working hard, I hope we can do it". In addition to contributing more than $2.66 billion to the state's economy over the next 12 years, the PayPal facility would have created an estimated 400 jobs in the Charlotte area, while the company CoStar would have brought 700-plus opportunities to the same region.

While HB 2's 2016 passage made it the only such state law now on the books, other states have tried to pass similar laws, both before HB 2 and after its effects were known and estimated to be "only" in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest went to Texas earlier this month to help that state pass its own "bathroom bill", and now he's back home fighting efforts to repeal HB2, the law that limits LGBT nondiscrimination protections and requires transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate. One proposal, floated by state Republicans, would repeal the law while limiting local governments' ability to protect LGBT residents, according to WBTV.

Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders have been looking for a replacement, but Forest said they shouldn't succumb to "economic and corporate extortion".

Supporters are hard-pressed to point to economic benefits from the law, said James Kleckley of East Carolina University's business college.

More than $196 million in events such as sports, conventions and concerts were reported to be lost across the state according to the AP report.

"Before I was an advocate, I worked in economic development, and I find this number is extraordinary", Sgro said.

North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, a Republican, said in a statement Monday that lawmakers continue "to work toward a reasonable compromise that ends the distraction of" the bill.

"The biggest impact is how many times our phones are not ringing now", said Shelly Green, CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

  • Larry Hoffman