The High Point Market Authority is reporting that certain participants have contacted the association saying they will boycott the Spring High Point Market due to the passage of HB2, a recently passed North Carolina state law.
HB2 bans any city or municipality from enacting anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation and gender identity; and it removed anti-discrimination ordinances protecting gay and transgender people that were effective in several North Carolina cities.
HPMA said that, over the past few days, “dozens of customers” had contacted it, saying that they had cancelled plans to attend the upcoming market due to HB2’s passage.
After the bill passed, various groups called for a boycott of business with the state, many using social media to rally support.
HPMA stated that it is obligated to inform North Carolina government representatives of the “significant economic damage that HB2 is having on the High Point Market and on the North Carolina economy. Based on the reaction in just the last few days, hundreds and perhaps thousands of our customers will not attend market this April.”
“We would like to take this opportunity to clearly state that the High Point Market does not discriminate, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity,” stated the High Point Market Authority. “In fact, we embrace all of our attendees and believe that the diversity of the 75,000 people who attend market is one of our greatest assets and strengths.”
HPMA noted that, according to a 2013 Duke University economic impact study, the High Point Market is the largest economic event in North Carolina each year, with an annual economic impact of $5.38 billion.
The High Point Market will be held April 16 to 20.