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Religious Tolerance logo


The religious freedom to discriminate against
transgender persons in North Carolina:

Part 5

2016-AUG: The NBA decided to hold
their 2017 All-Star Game in
New Orleans. Various reactions.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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Caitlyn Jenner is a MTF transsexual woman, who was a male Olympic athlete earlier in her life. She was identified as a male at birth.

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2016-AUG-19: The All-Star game will be held in New Orleans, LA:

On AUG-19, the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a formal statement, saying:

"New Orleans is a world-class destination for sports and entertainment and we are very appreciative that the city is once again hosting our All-Star festivities. We are grateful to Tom and Gayle Benson and the Pelicans organization and to Governor John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation for inviting us back for what promises to be another exciting and memorable celebration of the game." 1

This game will be the 66th NBA All-Star Game and the third time that it will have been hosted by New Orleans, It was held there in 2008 and 2014. 2

CNN reported:

"In addition to the announcement of the venue change, the NBA also said the league and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have joined the Pelicans and the New Orleans Saints to provide financial and other ongoing support of the flood rescue, relief and rebuilding efforts in the state of Louisiana.

'Even in the midst of a historic crisis, I am excited that the NBA has recognized how great the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana are,' Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. 'In Louisiana, one of the strongest bonds that unites all of us is our passion for sports. Not only will NBA fans be able to participate in the All-Star Game events, they will also be a part of our world-famous Mardi Gras festivities. The fan experience can’t get any better than that. While we move into the recovery phase of this [flooding] disaster, I want to thank the NBA for the vote of confidence in our state to host this event and their support of the relief efforts currently underway. I want to congratulate Mayor Landrieu, the City of New Orleans, and the Pelicans for working in short order to make this all possible'." 2

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2016-AUG-19: The Family Research Council reacted to the NBA's statement:

The Family Research Council (FRC) is a conservative Christian para-church organization. It has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of 13 U.S. anti-gay hate groups. 3

The FRC issued a press release on the same day as the NBA formally announced that their game would be relocationed to New Orleans. The FRC described North Carolina's House Bill 2 as providing:

"... common sense protections for bathroom privacy and against government overreach." 4

One of the "common sense" protections would be HB 2's requirement that Caitlyn Jenner, shown above, and similar MTF transgender individuals, would be required to use men's washrooms in North Carolina.

The FRC President, Tony Perkins, released a statement saying:

"I commend North Carolina Governor McCrory for his political courage and moral clarity in not caving in to the NBA’s threats to move the All-Star game. He stared down the giant of the NBA and stood strong against government discrimination of private entities and for the principles of protecting privacy and safety in government buildings.

My home state of Louisiana, like North Carolina, is one of 32 states in the U.S. that does not force private businesses to allow men in women’s showers, locker rooms, and restrooms. On the other hand, in New Orleans -- the same as in Charlotte -- the NBA will be free to divide the restrooms at its own event on the basis of self-professed ‘gender identity’ instead of objective biological sex, if it wishes to do so. Only politics -- not the well-being of transgender persons or anyone else -- motivated this disruptive and punitive move.

The hypocrisy of the NBA over North Carolina’s HB 2 law is utterly stunning. The NBA is willing to turn a blind eye and play games in countries, like the People's Republic of China, that regularly oppress their own citizens.

The NBA should focus on basketball, not on redefining what it means to be male or female." 4

Webmaster's statement of confusion:

I cannot understand the FRC's phrase "the same as in Charlotte." Under North Carolina's new HB 2 state law, public washrooms can only be accessed by persons according to their birth-identified gender, whereas in New Orleans, the owners can apparently set up washrooms to be accessed by persons according to their current gender identity.

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Other reactions to the NBA decision:

  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit association which regulates athletes of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations, and individuals. The NCAA approved a non-discrimination policy shortly after HB 2 was passed by the North Carolina legislature. Their new policy might adversely impact a site in Greensboro, NC which had been chosen as the men's NCAA Tournament host in 2017, as well as a site in Charlotte, NC in 2018.The NCAA has asked both Charlotte and Greensboro to submit a report on whether they can:

    "... provide a welcoming environment during future college shampionship games they hope to host. ... The two cities have a separate, yet-to-be-determined deadline to submit the anti-discrimination criteria to the organization for those games." 5

  • Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national LGBT anti-discrimination group, issued a statement saying:

    "By moving the 2017 All-Star Game to New Orleans, the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver have sent a clear message to lawmakers in North Carolina and across the country that discrimination against LGBTQ people has consequences and will not be tolerated." 6

  • Dylan Gwinn, writing for NewsBusters, said:

    "North Carolina has faced a massive backlash from businesses and state and local governments over the anti-LGBT law it passed in March. A number of major corporations have canceled plans to expand or invest in North Carolina in response to the law, and progressive governors and mayors have issued ... bans [on non-emergency travel by state civil servants and municipal officials] to the state." 7

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Official release: New Orleans selected to host NBA All-Star 2017," NBA, 2016-AUG-19, at: http://www.nba.com/
  2. "NBA moves 2017 All-Star Game to New Orleans due to NC transgender law," FOX61, 2016-AUG-19, at: http://fox61.com/
  3. Evelyn Schlatter, "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda," Southern Poverty Law Center, Intelligence Report, 2010-Winter Issue #140 of at: http://www.splcenter.org/
  4. "Family Research Council Statement on NBA All-Star Game Re-Locating to New Orleans," Family Research Council Press Release, 2016-AUG-19, at: http://www.frc.org/
  5. Katherine Peralta, "N.C. cities still gunning to host NCAA games despite HB2," Charlotte Observer, 2016-AUG-12, at: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/
  6. Stephen Peters, "2017 NBA All-Star game moved to New Orleans due to NC's anti-LGBTQ HB2 law," Human Rights Campaign, 2016-AUG-19, at: https://www.hrc.org/
  7. Dylan Gwinn, "NBA Replaces Charlotte with New Orleans as All-Star Game Host City Over LGBT Law, Huff Po Celebrates," NewsBusters, 2016-AUG-20, at: http://www.newsbusters.org/

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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-AUG-20
Latest update : 2016-AUG-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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