North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ law leaves Duke with hole in its schedule

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Duke University’s opponent for game two of its fall basketball tournament schedule is “To Be Announced,” because of North Carolina‘s discriminatory law, H.B.2.

The State University of New York at Albany refused to play in N.C. at the behest of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who issued an executive order banning state-funded travel to that state and Mississippi as a protest against anti-LGBTQ laws.

“The State University of New York supports Governor Cuomo’s executive order banning all non-essential travel to the state of North Carolina, and we instructed our campuses to immediately review any existing travel plans by faculty and staff,” SUNY’s Holly Liapis said in a statement. “SUNY and its campuses continue to support the Governor on taking this stand.”

H.B.2 requires transgender people to use bathrooms in government facilities that match the gender on their birth certificates, and it bars cities including Charlotte from enacting their own legal protections from sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The Department of Justice is suing N.C.’s government, saying H.B.2 violates federal law.

Because of this issue, Duke listed Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. as its opponent at the Nov. 12 home game when the university released its schedule Wednesday morning. But within an hour, Duke issued another version of its schedule with the opponent listed as “TBA” on that date. Marist is a private school and would not normally be subject to Cuomo’s order.

Although the college basketball tournament schedule had been set for about a year, this means the ball is now in the court of the Hall of Fame, which suddenly has to find another school to play in North Carolina for its two guaranteed home games.

“This was an unexpected turn of events,” Greg Procino of the HoF said. “The Hall of Fame is currently working with the other schools involved in the tournament to reschedule the campus round games.” The other schools in the tournament are Grand Canyon, Cincinnati, Penn State, Rhode Island and Brown.

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