August 4, 2016
HB2 vs B&Bs
By: Dan Ward
The evidence is in that visits to Asheville area B&Bs are down at least 10 percent since HB2 was passed, a state law curtailing local ordinances that grant rights to gay, lesbian and transgender people.
Many groups and individuals cancelled reservations or decided to go elsewhere to force our North Carolina representatives to reverse that vote.
Problem is, those representatives live by a much different philosophy than those of us in the hospitality business. We, and other innkeepers for the most part, embrace inclusion. We celebrate what makes us unique. We don't fear or hate those who are different from us. Our mantra has always been to step outside our comfort zone and learn how others live. We have had hundreds of religious and socially conservative guests who have slept and eaten under the same roof as LGBT couples, people from other countries, other races, other religious beliefs, and never heard one disparage another or fear their presence. We don't know where the closed minds come from that inspired HB2, but it wasn't from those who visit B&Bs.
If we could throw the bigots out of office, we would. But nothing we can do will alter their behavior. The best we can hope for is that the trickle-down economy and embarrassing press will shame their backers into asking for a reversal.
We make it a policy not to talk politics on our porch, but sometimes we can't help but speak up when our livelihood is being threatened by those we expect to represent our interests.