- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 21, 2016

The National Basketball Association is on the brink of moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina, over the state’s law regulating intimate public facilities on the basis of sex.

The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski cited league sources saying New Orleans is the front-runner to land the Feb. 19 game, but other cities are also trying to pursue the midseason event. A formal announcement about the league’s plans is expected as soon as this week.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had threatened to pull the All-Star Game in the wake of North Carolina law HB2, which the league said discriminates toward transgender people who wish to use the intimate facilities of the opposite sex.

The law also bars cities from expanding nondiscrimination policies to include sexuality and gender identity, which have been used in other states to punish Christians who subscribe to religious teaching on sexuality and marriage.

Proponents of the legislation said it is aimed at protecting women and children from predatory men, who could claim to identify as women in order to gain entry to intimate facilities.

The basketball league joined a coalition of other blue chip corporations, largely based in Silicon Valley, condemning the law, including Facebook, Google and Apple. The corporations said HB2 would imperil their ability to do business in the state moving forward.

In the wake of the backlash, Republican Governor Pat McCrory took executive action to allow private businesses to regulate their facilities however they choose, but the substance of the law remained in effect.

And when the U.S. Department of Justice threatened to withhold education funding from the state over HB2, North Carolina responded by suing the federal agency.

The clash in North Carolina comes amid a larger debate about how to accommodate those who do not identify as their biological sex.

President Obama issued an edict in May compelling public schools nationwide to allow use of bathrooms, locker rooms and showers on the basis of gender identity. Noncompliant schools risk losing millions in federal education funding.

Twenty-three states in two separate lawsuits have sued the Obama administration over the order, arguing it misinterprets Title IX’s anti-discrimination provision against “sex” and unconstitutionally infringes on state sovereignty.

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