Since passing its controversial House Bill 2 law earlier this year, North Carolina has lost out on a lot of business. First, artists like Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr announced that they would not perform in the state as long as North Carolina sought to restrict transgender bathroom in public buildings. Then, in June, the NBA decided it would move its All-Star game from Charlotte to New Orleans, Louisiana, citing “the climate created by the current law.”
Now, the James Beard Foundation’s restaurant and chef awards committee will be canceling its upcoming trip to Raleigh in January, joining an ever-expanding list of artists, companies, and organization taking a stand against the anti-LGBT provisions including in HB2.
The foundation provided a brief statement to the News & Observer on Tuesday, explaining why its 17-person committee would be skipping the Tar Heel State on its upcoming, cross-country tour.
“The law’s provisions are contrary to the values of the James Beard Foundation; accordingly, the restaurant and chef awards subcommittee has, by unanimous vote, decided to cancel its planned meeting in that state. This meeting had been planned prior to the passage of HB2; we had hoped that the condemnation by the NCAA, the NBA and the many members of North Carolina’s restaurant community, would have persuaded North Carolina’s leaders to repeal this outrageous law. As it has not, the subcommittee feels compelled to conduct its business elsewhere.”
Three times a year the committee travels to cities where restaurants are typically overlooked, but for now Raleigh will have to remain the James Beard Foundation’ under-the-radar. For restaurant owners in the area, the news comes as quite a blow.
“It’s huge,” Dennis Quaintance, the owner of a number North Carolina restaurants, told the News & Observer. In years past, he was a finalist for the foundation’s restaurateur of the year award. “The James Beard Foundation is like the Academy Awards. If North Carolina wins best picture, it’s a fabulous thing for our image.”
Perhaps the best thing for North Carolina’s image, would be to repeal HB2 altogether.
[via News & Observer]