- The Washington Times - Friday, March 25, 2016

The National Basketball Association is scheduled to hold its 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte, but after Republican Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday signed a religious freedom bill into law, the league is having second thoughts.

“We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte,” the NBA said in a statement.

“The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events,” the league said.

The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act prohibits North Carolinians from using public restrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex.

The legislation’s impetus was a Charlotte city council nondiscrimination ordinance passed in February that would have allow transgender people to use the facilities of the opposite sex.

North Carolina is the latest state to face blowback from big business in response to laws concerning LGBT rights.

Several companies, including Disney, Marvel and AMC, are threatening to stop filming projects in Georgia over a religious liberty bill that they say would sanction discrimination. The National Football League also said the law could affect Atlanta’s ability to host the Super Bowl down the road.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal has not said whether he will sign or veto the legislation.

Additionally, in South Dakota earlier this month, Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed legislation preventing students at public schools from using the restrooms of the opposite sex.

In issuing the veto, Mr. Daugaard said the bill would have removed local decision-making authority from individual schools, but conservatives speculated the decision had more to do with the governor’s desire to protect the state’s business interests.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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