That’s the likely local fallout if Patrick successfully crusades with North Carolina-style bathroom legislation. The NCAA, the ACC Conference and the NBA have moved sporting events out of North Carolina over its law restricting transgender bathroom use. Why would the response to a Texas bathroom law be any different?
Patrick said on Facebook in April he was “totally disgusted with the threats from sports teams, entertainers, and some major corporations” who have pulled business out of North Carolina.
Let’s unpack this disgust. First off, those threats became real actions.
An estimate in September in “Wired” pegged the losses to North Carolina over its bathroom law at about $400 million. This includes $106 million for losing the NBA All-Star Game and $91 million tied to lost NCAA championship events. PayPal canceled its planned expansion in the state, and numerous other tech companies have opposed the bathroom law.
Compared with a state’s total economy such losses are small, but they add up at the local level. When a tech company doesn’t locate to Texas, those are jobs that never appear here. When the NCAA moves the Final Four from San Antonio, those are visitors who don’t stay at our hotels or dine in our restaurants.
That’s why the Texas Association of Businesses has come out strongly against any potentially discriminatory legislation that would hurt the state’s economy. Being inclusive is good business.
What’s particularly troubling is Patrick would hurt the Texas economy over such a nonissue.