North Carolina's transphobic "bathroom bill" law is already costing it hundreds of millions of dollars

Wired's Emma Grey Ellis runs the numbers on HB2, the anti-transgender North Carolina law that requires bearded blokes to use the womens' bathroom because they have an F on their birth certificate. "It's North Carolinians, most of whom don't even support the legislation," Emma writes, "who get stuck with the bill. "

Adding all that up, the total cost to North Carolinians so far from HB2 protests is slightly more than $395 million. That's more than the GDP of Micronesia. And the bulk of it is from sporting organizations, who even five years ago would likely not have waded into political territory like this. But experts aren't that surprised that the NBA, NCAA, and ACC have taken this step now. "They're not out on a limb here," Durso says. "They're in line with their base." The near unanimous outcry against HB2 and in support of the NCAA and ACC confirms that. Legislating discrimination has become an expensive bad habit.

The sports-media business often imposes audience consensus upon local authorities. If usually a bad thing–think "taxpayers hooked into building private stadiums"–there are silver linings.