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120+ major business leaders call for repeal of North Carolina's anti-LGBT law
From a press release
2016-04-01

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WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ( LGBT ) civil rights organization, and Equality NC, the state organization working to secure equal rights and justice for LGBT North Carolinians, announced that executives from Hyatt, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Northrop Grumman, Ralph Lauren, American Apparel, Qualcomm, Twilio, Udacity, Pandora Media, and EMC Corporation have signed onto an open letter that now includes more than 120 leading CEOs and business leaders calling on Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal the radical provisions in the deeply discriminatory law that was rammed through the legislature last week.

The letter — signed by dozens of CEOs from across the nation — was first made public Tuesday afternoon, and came only a day after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced he would veto anti-LGBT legislation in Georgia after facing a sustained outcry from a broad chorus of advocates and companies. A copy of the updated letter and its signatories can be found here and below.

"Discrimination is bad for North Carolina, bad for America, and bad for business," said HRC President Chad Griffin in announcing the open letter on Tuesday. "These business leaders are speaking out because they know this attack on lesbian, gay, bisexual and especially transgender North Carolinians isn't just morally wrong — it also puts their employees, customers and North Carolina's economy at risk. For the sake of all North Carolinians, Governor McCrory and the General Assembly must act now to repeal this heinous attack on fairness and equality."

"North Carolina's place as a business leader in the South is based on fairness, inclusion, and diversity," said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro Tuesday with the release of the open letter. "HB 2 does not represent North Carolina values, and it weakens our competitive edge. We are glad to see our business community in the Old North State standing up against discriminatory measures like this. Governor McCrory made a mess of our state last week, and our businesses are leading the charge to repair our state to a place of fairness."

On Monday, Gov. McCrory unbelievably claimed, "We have not taken away any rights that have currently existed in any city in North Carolina" — but PolitiFact rated that claim as false. H.B. 2 has eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such protections from being passed by cities in the future. The legislation also forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity, putting 4.5 billion dollars in federal funding under Title IX at risk. It also compels the same type of discrimination against transgender people to take place in state buildings, including in public universities. Lawmakers passed the legislation in a hurried, single-day session last Wednesday, and Governor McCrory quickly signed it into law in the dead of night.

North Carolina has the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first state in the country to enact a law attacking transgender students, even after similar proposals were rejected across the country this year — including a high-profile veto by the Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota. North Carolina school districts that comply with the law will now be in direct violation of Title IX, subjecting the school districts to massive liability and putting an estimated $4.5 billion of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as funding received by schools from other federal agencies, at risk. This section of House Bill 2 offers costly supposed solutions to non-existent problems, and it forces schools to choose between complying with federal law — plus doing the right thing for their students — or complying with a state law that violates students' civil rights. Read more about how this bill puts federal funding at risk here.

The full letter to Governor McCrory and list of signatories is below:

Dear Governor McCrory,

We write with concerns about legislation you signed into law last week, HB 2, which has overturned protections for LGBT people and sanctioned discrimination across North Carolina. Put simply, HB 2 is not a bill that reflects the values of our companies, of our country, or even the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians.

We are disappointed in your decision to sign this discriminatory legislation into law. The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business. This is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development. We believe that HB 2 will make it far more challenging for businesses across the state to recruit and retain the nation's best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the nation. It will also diminish the state's draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity.

Discrimination is wrong and we believe it has no place in North Carolina or anywhere in our country. As companies that pride ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming to all, we strongly urge you and the leadership of North Carolina's legislature to repeal this law in the upcoming legislative session.

Sincerely,

Karen Appleton, Senior Vice President, Box

Brandee Barker, Cofounder, The Pramana Collective

Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce

Chip Bergh, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.

Michael Birch, Founder, Blab

Ed Black, President and CEO, Computer & Communications Industry Association

Nathan Blecharczyk, Cofounder and CTO, Airbnb

Steven R. Boal, CEO, Quotient Technology Inc.

Ron Boire, CEO, Barnes and Noble

Lorna Borenstein, CEO, Grokker

Brad Brinegar, Chairman and CEO, McKinney

John Bryant, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kellogg Company

Wes Bush, Chairman, CEO and President of Northrop Grumman

Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, co-CEOs, Atlassian

Lloyd Carney, CEO, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.

Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb

Ron Conway, Founder and Co-Managing Partner, SV Angel

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

Paul T. Dacier, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, EMC Corporation

Dean Debnam, Chairman and CEO, Workplace Options

Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square and Twitter

David Ebersman, Cofounder and CEO, Lyra Health

Jared Fliesler, General Partner, Matrix Partners

Vice Forlenza, Chairman, CEO and President, BD

Joe Gebbia, Cofounder and Chief Product Officer, Airbnb

Jason Goldberg, CEO, Pepo

Alan King, President and COO, Workplace Options

Kristen Koh Goldstein, CEO, BackOps

Mitchell Gold, co-founder and chair-man, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

John H. Graham IV, President and CEO, American Society of Association Executives

Logan Green, CEO, Lyft

Mike Gregoire, CEO, CA Technologies

Paul Graham, Founder, Y Combinator

David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

Charles H. Hill III, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Human

Resources, Pfizer Inc.

Reid Hoffman, Chairman, LinkedIn

Robert Hohman, Cofounder & CEO, Glassdoor

Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox

William H. Howle, President of U.S. Retail Banking Group, Citibank

Steve Huffman, CEO, Reddit

Chad Hurley, Cofounder, YouTube

Dave Imre, Partner and CEO, IMRE

Dev Ittycheria, President & CEO, MongoDB

Laurene Powell Jobs, President, Emerson Collective

Cecily Joseph, VP Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity

Officer, Symantec Corporation

Steve Joyce, CEO, Choice Hotels International

Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber

David Karp, Founder and CEO, Tumblr

Travis Katz, Founder and CEO, Gogobot

Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel

Joshua Kushner, Managing Partner, Thrive Capital

Michael W. Lamach, Chairman and CEO, Ingersoll-Rand plc

Ralph Lauren and Stefan Larrsson, Ralph Lauren Corporation

Jeff Lawson, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Twilio

Max Levchin, CEO, Affirm

Dion Lim, CEO, NextLesson

Shan-lyn Ma, CEO, Zola

Vishal Makhijani, COO, Udacity

Tom Mangas, CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Bill Maris, CEO, Google Ventures

Marissa Mayer, President and CEO, Yahoo

Melody McCloskey, CEO, StyleSeat

Douglas Merrill, CEO, Zestfinance

Dyke Messinger, President and CEO, Power Curbers Inc.

Steve Mollenkopf, CEO, Qualcomm Inc.

Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America

Hari Nair, Vice President and General Manager, Orbitz.com & CheapTickets.com

Christopher J. Nassetta, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hilton Worldwide

Michael Natenshon, CEO, Marine Layer

Alexi G. Nazem, Cofounder and CEO, Nomad Health

Alexis Ohanian, Cofounder, Reddit

Laurie J. Olson, EVP, Strategy, Portfolio and Commercial Operations, Pfizer Inc.

Bob Page, Founder and CEO, Replacements, Ltd.

Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO, American Airlines

Mike Pedersen, CEO and President, TD Bank, N.A.

Michelle Peluso, Strategic Advisor and former CEO, Gilt

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

Mark Pincus, Founder and Executive Chairman, Zynga

Hosain Rahman, CEO, Jawbone

Bill Ready, CEO, Braintree

Evan Reece, CEO, Liftopia

Stan Reiss, General Partner, Matrix Partners

John Replogle, CEO, Seventh Generation

Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco Systems

Virginia M. Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM Corporation

Dan Rosensweig, CEO, Chegg

Kevin P. Ryan, Founder and Chairman, Alleycorp

Bijan Sabet, General Partner, Spark Capital

Julie Samuels, President, Engine

George A. Scangos, PhD, CEO, Biogen

Paula Schneider, CEO, American Apparel

Steve Schoch, CEO, Miramax

Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal

Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO, Starbucks

Adam Shankman, Director and Producer

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association

David A. Shaywitz, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, DNAnexus

Behshad Sheldon, President and CEO, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals

Ben Silbermann, CEO, Pinterest

Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft

Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International

David Spector, Cofounder, ThirdLove

Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp

John G. Stumpf, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Wells Fargo & Company

Julie Sweet, Group Chief Executive North America, Accenture

Bret Taylor, CEO, Quip

Todd Thibodeaux, CEO, CompTIA

Brian Tippens, Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, Hewlett

Packard Enterprise

David Tisch, Managing Partner, BoxGroup

Nirav Tolia, Cofounder and CEO, Nextdoor

Kevin A. Trapani, President and CEO, The Redwood Groups

Mark Trudeau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mallinckrodt

Pharmaceuticals

Ken Wasch, President, Software & Information Industry Association

Casey Wasserman, Chairman and CEO of Wasserman & President and CEO of

the Wasserman Foundation

Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Co-Founders and Co-Chairmen, The Weinstein

CompanyDevin Wenig, CEO, eBay

Tim Westergren, Founder and CEO, Pandora Media, Inc.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Facebook

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every

community.

Equality NC is a statewide organization working to secure equal rights

and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians. For more information, please visit www.equalitync.org .


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