Louisville Slugger Field – Photo: Ron Reiring, via Wikimedia.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced new venues for eight championships for 2016 and 2017 that were slated to be held in North Carolina, but were moved after Tar Heel lawmakers refused to amend or repeal the state’s anti-LGBT HB 2 law.
A new site for the ACC women’s basketball championship, which was scheduled to be played in Greensboro, has not yet been announced. But the eight that have been announced will be relocated to the states of South Carolina, Kentucky and Georgia. All three states lack a law like HB 2 that targets transgender people’s restroom use or prevents localities from adopting their own nondiscrimination ordinances. In fact, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed people to cite moral or religious objections to homosexuality as justification for disparate treatment of LGBT people.
According to a press release from the ACC, the conference’s women’s soccer championship, from Nov. 4-6, will be held at MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston, S.C. The women’s golf championship, from April 13-15, will be held at the Reserve Golf Club in Pawley’s Island, S.C., and the men’s golf championship, from April 21-23, at Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, S.C. The ACC Baseball Championship will be held at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Ky., from May 23-28.
The women’s swimming and diving, and men’s diving championships, held Feb. 13-16, will now be hosted by the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, as will the men’s swimming championship on Feb. 27- Mar. 2. Men’s and women’s tennis championships have been moved to the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College in Rome, Ga.
The ACC’s decision to relocate the championships came after similar moves by the NCAA, which moved seven different championships out of the state, and the NBA, which switched the location of its All-Star Game to New Orleans, over HB 2. Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the law into effect, and Republican lawmakers who approved the bill, have argued that North Carolina is being unfairly singled out, even when compared to other states without LGBT-inclusive laws, for political reasons. McCrory is up for re-election this November, and trails his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, in most polls. The most recent poll showing a face-off between the two men, from Elon University, showed Cooper leading, 48 percent to 44 percent.