Prominent businesses and leaders including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff have taken to social media in recent days to voice their concern about a new law in North Carolina that they believe will promote discrimination.
The law prevents the state and its locales from adding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to anti-discrimination protections granted to members of other minority groups. The law was in part a reaction to anti-discrimination protections the city of Charlotte added to its books for LGBT people in February.
More than 100 companies including Silicon Valley icons such as Airbnb, Box, Facebook, Google, and Uber have signed a letter opposing the legislation and asking for its repeal in the upcoming legislative session. The letter follows threats of boycotts from governors and mayors around the country.
Georgia governor Nathan Deal struck down a similar bill on Monday, which critics said gave businesses the license to discriminate under the guise of religious freedom, after an outcry from businesses. Arizona and Indiana overturned so-called religious freedom legislation in 2014 and 2015, respectively, after businesses threatened boycotts and other economic sanctions.
Here's a roundup of what the business community had to say about the developments in North Carolina.
Paypal co-founder Max Levchin said the North Carolina law is discriminatory:
Levchin's former company said inclusion of minorities including LGBT workers is a core value:
Inclusion is one of our core values and we are proud to champion LGBTQ equality in N. Carolina and around the world: https://t.co/40yYLCrqO1-; PayPal (@PayPal) March 24, 2016
Salesforce chief executive and co-founder Marc Benioff said business owners have an obligation to lead on social issues:
When everyone leads on social positions can we move the world forward. We all have to be part of this new future---not just politicians.-; Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 31, 2016
Google burnished its credentials as an advocate of LGBT rights:
And it wasn't just tech companies. Big businesses in other fields, including Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, also took a strong stand: