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NBA moving All-Star Game out of Charlotte, citing controversial LGBT law

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The Eastern Conference faces the Western Conference during the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on February 14, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C.–The NBA is moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of its objections to a North Carolina law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

The league had expressed its opposition to the law known as HB2 since it was enacted in March, and its decision Thursday came shortly after stage legislators revisited the law and chose to leave it largely unchanged.

“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” the league said in a statement.

The league says it hopes to announce a new location for next February’s events shortly. It hopes to reschedule the 2019 game for Charlotte if there is a resolution to the matter.

Commissioner Adam Silver had said the league needed to make a decision this summer about its plans.

“We understand the NBA’s decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season. There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so,” Hornets chairman and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan said. “With that said, we are pleased that the NBA opened the door for Charlotte to host All-Star weekend again as soon as an opportunity was available in 2019.”

After the law’s initial passage in March, musicians Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and the bands Pearl Jam and Boston canceled concerts in the state. Those cancellations have cost one major venue nearly $200,000 in ticket sales.

Connecticut and many other states still have bans for state-funded travel to North Carolina.