ATLANTA — Religious freedom legislation like North Carolina’s House Bill 2 poses a threat to Atlanta’s robust tourism industry, the head of Atlanta’s visitor’s bureau said today.
“That’s the thing I worry about most,” Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) President and CEO William Pate told the Buckhead Business Association (BBA). “The biggest threat to our business is legislation that could be viewed as discriminatory, and perception is 90 percent of the rule.”
The North Carolina legislature passed the so-called “Bathroom Bill” earlier the year. One of its mandates requires people to use the bathroom corresponding with their biological sex, not their gender identity.
Opponents say the law is anti-LGBT.
Some organizations have pulled events from the state because of the bill. That has cost the state roughly $400 million in revenue, according to one estimate.
Lawmakers in Georgia earlier this year debated a similar religious-themed measure earlier this year. Georgia lawmakers did not approve the proposed “Religious Liberty” bill.
“We were right there,” Pate said.