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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

How Is the NCAA Partly Responsible for NC’s Anti-LGBT Law?

By Dan Atkerson on April 11, 2016

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North Carolina, a state known to be obsessed with its basketball teams, once again watched as its precious Tar Heels reached the final leg of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Championship tournament. Unfortunately, the team’s success has been somewhat tarnished by the passing of one of the most discriminatory anti-LGBT laws in America.

What Does the Anti-LGBT Law Say?

Effectively, North Carolina’s heinous bill says that local governments are henceforth prohibited from passing protective measures against LGBT discrimination. For example, the city of Charlotte had recently passed a local ordinance much like the one we have here in Dallas, which prevents businesses from discriminating against LGBT employees or applicants. That ordinance was set to go into effect on the first of April but has since been blocked by the passing of the anti-LGBT law in late March.

The bill was rammed through state legislation in less than 12 hours. According to NPR, it took Gov. McCrory and lawmakers behind him less than 12 hours to introduce, debate, approve, and sign the hateful law.

How Is the NCAA Involved?

They aren’t, and that’s the problem. Men’s basketball arguably has more influence throughout North Carolina than any other organization. Residents in the state are extremely proud of their teams, which have won eight championships in the last 25 years, more than any other state.

The NCAA’s position on LGBT discrimination has always been to support both sides of the argument, and refusing to take sides. The association’s inability to take action against blatant LGBT discrimination has reinforced a culture of hatred.

The association’s recent threats to disallow the state to host future tournaments will likely fall on deaf ears due since there is no backbone behind them. In the past, the NCAA has done very little to discipline similar acts of discrimination.

Examples of LGBT discrimination that the NCAA did nothing to prevent include:

  • LeTourneau University prohibiting gay student-athletes from dating.
  • BYU’s numerous anti-gay laws
  • Belmont University fired hugely successful coach Lisa Howe when she came out
  • Erskine College’ Board of Trustees passed an order to expressly ban homosexuality
So long as the NCAA, one of the most influential associations in North Carolina, remains silent, hate policies like the state’s anti-LGBT law will continue to damage our country. Maybe karma caused the Tar Heels to lose the championship this year.

Thankfully, a large group of organizations and companies are threatening to pull out of the state entirely if the law is not repealed. For example, PayPal, Bank of America, and Dow Chemical have all protested the law. The NFL has also threatened to disallow the state from hosting future Super Bowls.

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