Not 24 hours after Trump’s “Bathroom Ban”—a rollback of protections for transgender students that allowed them to use the bathroom of their gender identity—the fallout has been swift, especially for those in education and the travel industry.
Protesters gathered outside the White House on Wednesday night to rebuke the president’s move, which critics condemn as discriminatory. Many fear the move will put transgender students at higher risk of harassment and bullying.
In a joint statement, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, among others, said: “They have sent a deeply troubling message to students that the administration will not stand up for students’ civil rights. We condemn the administration’s decision, vow to fight to enforce Title IX, which continues to protect transgender students, and call on individual schools and districts to treat students consistent with their gender identity and consistent with the rescinded guidance that accurately explained the law.”
Bathroom Ban Hits Meetings and Travel
Those in education are not the only ones feeling pressure under the so-called Trump Effect. Those in the meetings and travel industry have also been impacted.
North Carolina’s House Bill 2 law—which restricts “access to multiuser restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated facilities on the basis of a definition of sex or gender consistent with sex assigned at birth or ‘biological sex’ “—has cost that state numerous marquee events, such as the NBA All-Star Game and NCAA tournaments. Those high-profile boycotts translate into at least $630 million in lost business since the law went into effect last year, according to Forbes.
Planners Eye New Bathroom Bills
With 14 states considering their own Bathroom Bill this legislative season, should planners take that into account when deciding meeting and conference locations? The answers are not easy.
For a little perspective, consider this: Earlier this month, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reported that the business travel sector lost nearly $185 million in bookings the week after Trump’s travel ban went into effect.
The stakes are definitely high.