Although Republicans have been insisting that HB2 isn’t hurting the economy, an analysis from the Associated Press found that the anti-LGBT law will cost North Carolina more than $3.76 billion in business losses over the next 12 years.
The law, which went into effect a year ago, prohibits transgender people from using facilities that match their gender identity and bars cities and municipalities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances covering sexual orientation or gender identity.
The state lost hundreds of thousands in revenue last year after performers like Ringo Starr and Bruce Springsteen cancelled concerts there. The relocation of a planned PayPal facility also cost the state an estimated $2.66 billion due to the controversial law.
The AP used interviews and public record requests in order to create the report on North Carolina’s economy, but the projection is likely an underestimation of the total cost to the state. The results only included projects that officially listed HB2 as the reason for relocating, and didn’t predict the loss of future conventions, businesses, and concerts that will forego working with the state in order to avoid being caught up in the controversy.
Supporters of the law say the loss of revenue is worth it if it means preventing sexual predators from posing as trans people to molest women in bathrooms—something opponents of HB2 say is an imagined fear.