North Carolina’s loss is Baltimore’s gain, at least in the case of one large convention that is shifting locations in reaction to controversial legislation enacted recently in North Carolina.
The Community Transportation Association of America, a non profit based in Washington, D. C., was planning to hold its June 2018 meeting in Raleigh, a weeklong event that would have brought 1,000 people to the city, booking more than 2,500 “room nights” and spending an estimated $1.7 million.
But according to a report by the Associated Press, the organization has backed out of the Raleigh meeting and decided to hold its meeting in Baltimore, instead.
The Community Transportation Association is a national organization that works to remove barriers to accessible transportation and improve mobility for those who rely on public transit.
The group is the largest of half a dozen conventions and events that have backed out of meetings in Raleigh since its governor signed House Bill 2, which has drawn criticism for discriminating against the transgender community, gays and lesbians.
The bill took away certain rights and protections that had been extended to the LGBT community in North Carolina, including allowing transgender people to use the public bathroom of the sex with which they identify.
Performers such as Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Bryan Adams, Pearl Jam and Cirque du Soleil have cancelled performances in North Carolina as a result of the new law, and companies such as Pay Pal and Deutsche Bank have cancelled plans to expand in the state.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has indicated that she is considering banning non essential government employee travel to North Carolina, as other mayors have done, in response to the law.