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High Point, North Carolina, isn't just home to the world's largest chest of drawers.

That's it? Photo by Cmalaspina/Wikimedia Commons.


It's also the site of the High Point Market: a multibillion-dollar biannual furniture expo.

Contrary to popular belief, the expo sells lots of furniture, not just one really cool couch for $5 billion. Photo by PoshSurfside.com/Flickr.

And while a furniture convention might seem like an odd leader in the fight against anti-LGBT discrimination, well .... we live in odd times.

The executive committee of the High Point Market released a sternly-worded statement Monday, warning the North Carolina state government of the intense economic backlash brewing in response to the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.

The law, signed last week by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory...

Pat is having a hard day. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

...forces transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds to their sex as assigned at birth.

"Based on the reaction in just the last few days, hundreds and perhaps thousands of our customers will not attend Market this April," the High Point Market statement read.

The law, the convention's organizers argue, would put the expo's $5 billion annual contribution to the state economy at risk.

The backlash against the law, which was passed so quickly it took many by surprise, continues to grow.

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images.

According to a CNN Money report, the state of New York has already banned, "non-essential travel to North Carolina by state agencies." The mayor of Seattle has banned travel from his city to the state as well.

The NBA released a statement indicating it may pull the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte. The NCAA suggested it might do the same with its annual March Madness tournament.

American Airlines, Lowe's, Biogen, and PayPal — all of which have large presences in North Carolina, or are planning to expand to the state — denounced the law.

And the good news? If recent history is any guide, the pressure just might work.

A combination of business and activist pressure helped to convince Indiana to moderate its anti-LGBT "religious freedom" law last year.

Opposition from Disney, the NFL, Coca-Cola, and others helped to convince Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to veto a similar bill a few weeks ago.

Will the same strategy work in North Carolina? If nothing else, the state's legislators are finding out what the people of High Point know all too well:

Seriously. Photo by Cmalaspina/Wikimedia Commons.

You don't mess with the chest.

This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


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