Citing the recently enacted law commonly known as House Bill 2, Fullsteam Brewery owner and CEO Sean Lilly Wilson announced that his brewery would no longer work or be associated with the state government of North Carolina.
Wilson sent a letter to North Carolina governor Pat McCrory and other state officials. He shared an excerpt of the letter on Facebook. “Until this legislation is overturned, reversed, or modified to shed its malicious intent, I do not want Fullsteam Brewery associated with North Carolina government. While we will, of course, pay our taxes and abide by federal, state, and local regulations, I respectfully ask that you no longer showcase Fullsteam Brewery in any state promotional effort.”
In the letter, several specific events and promotions are cited including the North Carolina State Fair. Fullsteam Brewery is also pulling out of the Got To Be NC Festival. They are suspending their involvement with all state-facilitated international export programs. Wilson is also asking for this feature to be removed from the North Carolina Department of Commerce website.
After the passage of House Bill 2, Wilson issued a statement on Facebook. It read:
“Fullsteam opposes the passage of HB2 and strives to provide an all-welcome, inclusive environment. We believe the bill is misguided, and that it represents a giant step backwards for the state (and community) we love.
When we first built out our brewery — way back in 2009 — we envisioned four to six individual, gender-neutral stalls, all joined by a common area to wash hands. The City of Durham determined that this concept did not meet city code standards, and we were required to build out more traditional, gender-specific bathrooms.
Although our original design was not approved, we hope that in the past five-plus years, we’ve created an environment where people can go to the bathroom where they believe they best belong, without fear of judgment, discrimination, or personal endangerment.
We will continue to offer such an environment and, in light of HB2, strive to do even more to embody equality, trust, and community.
If you have specific suggestions on how we can achieve this goal, please post here or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep the all in y’all, y’all.
Sean Lilly Wilson, Chief Executive Optimist