On Wednesday, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law a controversial bill, House Bill 2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.
The law has been widely dubbed anti-LBGT for several reasons, including the law's declaration that public facilities may not allow transgender people to use bathrooms based on their gender identity. The act also bans municipalities from enacting and enforcing their own non-discrimination laws for public places, including sexual orientation and gender identity. The city of Charlotte had such a non-discrimination law on the books, in part ahead of hosting the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend.
North Carolina has a statewide non-discrimination law, but it does not include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
The PGA Tour has two annual stops in North Carolina, with the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte in May and the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro in August. Golf News Net reached out to the PGA Tour for comment on the law and what it means for the Tour's business in the state.
The PGA Tour also responded with an emailed statement, which read, "The PGA Tour has a strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment for all at every event it operates and sanctions. The Tour will continue to promote these principles in every community we visit."
This statement is the same one issued almost a year ago after the state of Indiana signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a similarly controversial anti-LGBT law which allows businesses, considered the same as individuals under the law, to use supposed genuinely held religious beliefs as a defense against certain practices, including denying services to people if a potential customer's lifestyle or beliefs.
A similar measure is being debated right now in the state of Georgia, which would allow religious organizations and faith-based organizations to deny to services to the LGBT community. The PGA Tour holds the annual Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta and the Masters is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta.
The PGA of America has a major championship coming to North Carolina in 2017. The PGA Championship will go to Charlotte's Quail Hollow Club, which also is the normal host of the Wells Fargo Championship.
In an emailed statement, the PGA of America said, "The PGA of America provides an inclusive, welcoming environment for everyone at all of our events, including the PGA Championship."