The Business History Conference, an affiliate of the American Historical Association, has announced that it will change the location of its 2018 meeting from Charlotte, N.C., to Baltimore. The organization has been considering such a move to protest HB2, the North Carolina law that bars localities from extending anti-bias protections to gay people, and that requires public institutions -- including public colleges and universities -- to bar transgender people from using bathrooms other than those associated with their biological gender assigned at birth. (The law is currently not being enforced in higher education, pending litigation.)
Several academic organizations -- as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association -- moved events from North Carolina after the law was first passed this year. Other groups -- such as the business history group -- held off on fully canceling events in the state because of reports that the North Carolina General Assembly would this month repeal HB2. When that didn't happen, the business group moved ahead with its plans to relocate the meeting to Baltimore. "We simply cannot meet in a state that sanctions discrimination against LGBT individuals—which includes some of our own members," said a statement from Roger Horowitz, a historian at the University of Delaware who is secretary-treasurer of the Business History Conference.
Via email, Horowitz said that about 300 people typically attend the conference, and spend $120,000 on lodging costs.
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