Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Artists and arts organizations respond to House Bill 2


The North Carolina legislature passed House Bill 2 (HB2) and the governor signed it into law in about 12 hours on March 23rd. This law was passed in response to the Charlotte City Council expanding the city's nondiscrimination policies to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. HB2 created a new statewide nondiscrimination policy that doesn't include protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. (This was not an oversight: an amendment to include protections for LGBT people in this new statewide policy was voted down in the legislature.) Local towns, cities and counties are no longer allowed to pass stronger nondiscrimination policies. House Bill 2 does more than this and the complete consequences of the law are not fully known. A federal lawsuit has been filed against HB2; read about it here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/nc-anti-lgbt-law-lawsuit.

Some city and state governments have banned official travel to North Carolina because of HB2, and there have been calls to boycott the state over this anti-LGBT legislation. Just today, Paypal withdrew plans to build a new global operations center in Charlotte that would have employed more than 400 people. The CEO said HB2 "perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture." This backlash to HB2 has caused concern for regions and industries that rely on spending by tourists and businesses investing in North Carolina.

Here are a few responses to HB2 from artists and the arts community:

Authors Pen Letter of Support to NC Youth

Broadway composer denies NC companies right to produce shows

HB2 prompts Lionsgate to pull production of new Hulu show from Charlotte

Moogfest Condemns Anti-LGBTQ North Carolina Law
(original email statement from Moogfest - with the subject line: #WeAreNotThis Moogfest Opposes Discrimination - here: http://eepurl.com/bVzY9X)

Arts North Carolina, the nonprofit statewide arts advocacy organization, responded to this legislation on Monday. They are also requesting information about the impact of HB2 on the arts community.

Here's part of the statement from the Arts North Carolina website:

On March 30, the Arts North Carolina Board met and discussed our organization’s response to HB2. It was determined that our core mission and vision statements unanimously adopted in 2014 clearly state our position of commitment to inclusion, diversity, and access:

ARTS North Carolina calls for equity and access to the arts for all North Carolinians, unifies and connects North Carolina’s arts communities, and fosters arts leadership. We speak for the arts wherever there is need. Arts North Carolina unites people and communities to strengthen and celebrate a creative North Carolina. We strive to create a vibrant North Carolina where the arts are embraced by all as indispensable.

Or simply put: all the arts, for all the people, in every place.

The outpouring of protest will possibly result in a reconsideration of HB2 when session convenes on April 25. Arts North Carolina seeks to gather as many facts as the industry can give us that illustrate economic, education, or civic impact of HB2.

Read the complete statement and see where to submit information about the impact of HB2 here: https://artsnc.org/more-on-hb2-help-us-gather-stories-of-impact/

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