Atlanta asks NBA to move All-Star game out of Charlotte

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Bil Browning

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta city leaders asked the NBA on Tuesday to consider moving the 2017 All-Star Game away from Charlotte, North Carolina, after lawmakers in the state passed legislation that critics say limits protections for LGBT people.

Atlanta’s City Council introduced a resolution at a meeting asking the NBA to consider Atlanta after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed the law, which prevents Charlotte and other local governments from approving LGBT protections in such places as restaurants, hotels and stores.

The state’s Republican-led legislature said Charlotte city leaders went too far with a local anti-discrimination ordinance that, among other things, would have allowed transgender people to use restrooms that align with their gender identity.

A statement from Atlanta City Council President Caesar Mitchell said his city has a welcoming spirit as a top tourist and convention draw and home to several Fortune 500 companies.

“We appreciate the invitation but are hopeful that the city of Charlotte and the state of North Carolina can work through their differences far in advance of the 2017 All-Star Game,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass responded in a statement.

McRory shot back at Atlanta city leaders Tuesday night, saying North Carolina isn’t the only state to pursue such legislation.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday vetoed proposed legislation in his state that critics also called discriminatory toward LGBT people. The nixed legislation would have let clergy refuse to marry same-sex couples and religious affiliated groups to use religious beliefs as a basis for refusing service or declining to hire someone.

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