Strike Out: Study shows anti-LGBT bigotry is costly just as Mississippi loses college baseball series over hateful law

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Billy Bean, a former player who is an executive with Major League Baseball promoting inclusion, threw out the ceremonial first pitch for a Seattle Mariners game last August. Credit Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The impact of anti-LGBT discrimination is not only harmful to LGBT people, it is costly for those who engage in discrimination. We are talking costly with a “B”... as in billions.

As Samantha Allen notes in a piece for the the Daily Beast, “If States Got LGBT-Friendlier, They Could Make Billions:

“As the state-level Williams Institute numbers start to add up nationwide, it’s becoming clear that legislators don’t just cost their states big money by passing attention-grabbing — and boycott-inducing — laws like North Carolina’s HB 2; they are also losing out on potentially billions of dollars by failing to pass laws that protect LGBT people.”

While college basketball proved to be a game-changer in North Carolina in the blowback to HB2, it is college baseball taking center field in the response to Mississippi’s anti-LGBT law.

According to a piece by Nico Lang for INTO:

The University of Southern Mississippi will lose out on a planned three-game series against Stony Brook University in February due to the fallout from House Bill 1523, which went into effect in October…Following that bill’s passage in March 2016, New York Governor Mario Cuomo banned all “non-essential” state travel to the Magnolia State in protest. Stony Brook, which is part of the SUNY system, is thus prohibited from playing away games in Hattiesburg, Miss.

A home run for New York values!

The discriminatory Mississippi bill, known as HB1523, is one of the most anti-LGBT laws in the country. In other words, a seriously foul ball.

As described by Lambda Legal, HB 1523:

“[S]ets forth a list of discriminatory actions that certain individuals and entities could take against Mississippians based on religious and so-called “moral” objections to the existence of transgender people, marriages of same-sex couples and non-marital sexual relationships, without consequence from the State. The law was enacted in April 2016 in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision granting marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.”

In October, Lambda Legal and local counsel asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their legal challenge to the hateful law. Powerhouse lawyers, former Solicitor General Don Verrilli and attorney Paul Smith (who argued Lawrence v. Texas) joined the appeal.

Cheering for a grand slam at SCOTUS.

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