Durham's Fullsteam Brewery opposed to HB2

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Fullsteam Brewery in Durham is telling the state of North Carolina that it doesn't want to be a part of any state promotions after the passage of a new state law limiting the bathroom options for transgender people.

HB2 was designed to block a Charlotte non-discrimination ordinance, part of which allowed transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with. The law also excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from anti-discrimination protections, and blocks municipalities from adopting their own anti-discrimination and living wage rules.

In a letter to Governor Pat McCrory, Fullsteam owner Sean Wilson asked to be removed from "Nothing Compares" section on the North Carolina Commerce website. He also said his company will not take part in the annual Got to Be N.C. Festival, the N.C. State Fair, or serve as an emissary for North Carolina craft beer as long as the law remains in place.

"I am troubled by the recent legislative actions and particularly disappointed in your signing of the bill and your political posturing after the rushed special session. It's clear to me that this was, and is, a calculated move to create rancor and division," wrote Wilson, who said he is father to a child who identifies as gender neutral.

Other companies are reconsidering doing business in North Carolina.

New Jersey-based Braeburn Pharmaceuticals said it is "reevaluating our options based on the recent, unjust legislation" whether to build a $20 million manufacturing and research facility in Durham County. The 50 new jobs paying an average of nearly $76,000 a year were announced two weeks ago.

Lionsgate, the California-based entertainment company, had been lining up hotel and equipment rentals and hiring more than 100 workers in North Carolina, but decided to shoot its pilot episode for a comedy series in Canada instead, said Jennifer Irvine, a Charlotte production coordinator.

But the law has supporters. About 150 people took part in a prayer vigil supporting Governor McCrory Thursday.

"We have no problems with transgender people. We know that they're good people. We don't mind sharing a bathroom, but the ordinance that Charlotte was going to put in place was too broad," participant Regina Cassidy said. "Our concern is our safety in vulnerable places, like the restroom."

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