Republican and other conservative bigots will cost cities millions in lost sports dollar$

Thirty states and hundreds of cities could be barred from hosting the biggest events in college sports after the NCAA announced this week that it won’t hold playoffs and championships in cities and states without civil-rights protections for gay and transgender people.

That could include moving the 2017 Men’s Basketball Final Four from Glendale, Arizona, and this year’s college softball championships from Oklahoma City. It also puts in limbo places such as Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Boise, Idaho; and Greensboro and Charlotte, North Carolina, which are scheduled to host men’s basketball playoff games in 2017 or 2018.

Following national controversy over a law in North Carolina that restricted protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said Wednesday that it will require cities and towns that want to host collegiate championships and the organization’s administrative conferences to “to demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event.”

…The policy change applies to places that have already been awarded games and those that would bid for future playoffs, said NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn, but the organization’s national office still needs to decide what standard sites must meet.

Only 18 states have broad laws that protect people based on sexual orientation or gender identity specifically in accommodation or sports venues, according to Human Rights Campaign Fund, a gay-rights group based in Washington.

“If people have the ability to turn you away from the hot dog stand because of how you look, that’s a big problem,” said Cathryn Oakley, senior legislative counsel for HRC and author of a city-level LGBT equality index. “It’s also about safety, because a transgender person coming to see their favorite team shouldn’t have to worry about where they go to the bathroom after they’ve had a few beers.”

❝ “The higher education community is a diverse mix of people from different racial, ethnic, religious and sexual orientation backgrounds,” Kirk Schulz, chairman of the NCAA board and incoming president of Washington State University, said in a statement. “It is important that we assure that community — including our student-athletes and fans — will always enjoy the experience of competing and watching at NCAA championships without concerns of discrimination.”

In a modern, civilized nation run by reasonable law – instead of the opportunist whims of cowards and conservatives, religious communities beholden to one or another sharia – these problems don’t exist.

This is nothing new. We went through the same crap breast-beating over women voting, ending official racist barriers. The bigots of America command a sizable legion of lockstep politicians willing to sell out constitution, country and progress to ensure their political power. Along with federal courts, we the people have often had to resort to the economic power of the boycott.

So it shall be, once again.

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