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Published September 26, 2016

How 8 NC Businesses Are Fighting Back Against HB2  [Page 3]

Motorco Music Hall

“It’s ironic,” say Jeremy Roth, owner of Motorco Music Hall in Durham, about HB2. “I don’t think that [Governor] McCrory thought that they were going to force people to be more progressive. But they did.” Jeremy and co-owner Mike Webster had been talking about gender-neutral bathrooms for a long time. But when HB2 passed, it “forced us to have a solution, some kind of statement about this bigotry. It forced action.”

Motorco is a big venue; hundreds of people flow through on an average weekend night. Converting their bathrooms into single use stalls wasn’t an option, so Jeremy and Mike got creative. They commissioned signs that read “Only Stalls” and “Urinals & Stalls.” The change has been welcomed by their clientele. And if people don’t agree with the signs, well— “It’s capitalism,” says Jeremy. “You get to make your own choice with your business.”

How 8 NC Businesses Are Fighting Back Against HB2 - 4

To Jeremy, being a business owner comes with a duty. “We’re a public space. We don’t exist in a vacuum…We’re responsible for the people that come here,” says Jeremy. “So we have to be active participants in the community.”

And in the end, we’re all going to the bathroom to do the same thing. “If I’m peeing near to someone of a different [sex] chromosome, it’s hard to hear someone argue that that’s somehow harmful…To me it’s common sense that you just treat people like people.”

Co-owners of Motorco Music Hall, Mike Webster and Jeremy Roth
Co-owners of Motorco Music Hall, Mike Webster and Jeremy Roth

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  • Claire

    Claire

  • Claire Sorrenson lives in Durham, NC and runs Celebration Stories, a small business that celebrates the love between family and friends with thoughtful and unique memory books. She loves writing, running along the Eno, and discovering the Triangle area’s many hidden gems. All my articles.

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