Ooooh... North Carolina is bitter!
Since the state passed the virulently anti-queer House Bill 2, which prohibits transgender people from using the public restroom that corresponds with their gender identity and bans cities from passing laws to protect queer people, in March of this year, scores of companies have spoken out against the law and some have canceled plans to bring more business there.
This week, in what has to be one of the more bizarre stories of the year, The Charlotte Observer is reporting that state officials demanded that one of those companies, PayPal, return a wooden bowl they had gifted the tech giant earlier this year now that PayPal has pulled the plug on a major expansion planned to take place in Charlotte.
We couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried, folks.
“We reached out to them and said, ‘Give us the bowl back.’ That is a North Carolina artifact from the North Carolina state capitol made by North Carolina artisans for companies that are coming into North Carolina,” N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla told the newspaper on Monday.
The bowl was reportedly one of 340 that were made from an oak tree growing near the capital after the tree was struck by lightning. Each of the bowls was given to a company moving to or expanding production in North Carolina.
Skvarla told The Charlotte Observer, “We got [the bowl] back, gave it to a charity auction, and they raised money that is for the benefit of the state capitol.”
This seems like a really good use of government officials’ time, right?
Here’s a little unsolicited advice, North Carolina: maybe instead of pulling petty stunts like this one, you could spend a little more energy on repealing HB2 so you won’t lose another 730 jobs and you can prevent the state from missing out on up to $5 billion dollars a year courtesy of your bigoted law?