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130+ CEOs, business leaders urging lawmakers to repeal anti-LGBT North Carolina Law
From a press release
2016-04-07

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WASHINGTON - This morning, the Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC, the state organization working to secure equal rights and justice for LGBT North Carolinians, announced that executives from GE, the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, Oracle, Whole Foods Market, InterContinental Hotels Group, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, LabCorp., American Society of Interior Designers, BD, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., Dr. Bronner's, and Herbalife have signed onto an open letter that now includes more than 130 leading CEOs and business leaders urging 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 on March 23rd.

The copy of the updated letter, which was first made public on Tuesday, March 29th, can be found here and below.

"Discrimination is bad for North Carolina, bad for America, and bad for business," said HRC President Chad Griffin when first announcing the open letter. "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 with the original launch 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."

Gov. McCrory and state lawmakers have been coming under increasingly intense pressure to repeal the discriminatory law in the upcoming legislative session later this month. Mayors and governors across the country are banning travel to the state, and the New York Times editorial board calls North Carolina a "pioneer in bigotry." Paypal, Google Ventures, Lionsgate, and Braeburn Pharmaceuticals have stopped investments in the state because of the new discriminatory law.

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

James Avery, CEO, Adzerk

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

Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Goldman Sachs Group

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

Michael Bronner, President, Dr. Bronner's

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.=

Marc Casper, President and CEO, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.

Safra Catz, co-CEO, Oracle

Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb

Emanuel Chirico, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PVH Corp.

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

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

Roger W. Crandall, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance

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

Dean Debnam, Chairman and CEO, Workplace Options

Mike DeFrino, Chief Executive Officer, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Bill Demchak, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Alex Dimitrief, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, GE

Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square and Twitter

David Ebersman, Cofounder and CEO, Lyra Health

Randy Fiser, CEO, American Society of Interior Designers

Jared Fliesler, General Partner, Matrix Partners

Vince Forlenza, Chairman, CEO and President, BD

Joe Gebbia, Cofounder and Chief Product Officer, Airbnb

Jason Goldberg, CEO, Pepo

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

Michael O. Johnson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Herbalife

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

Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, the Coca-Cola Company

Alan King, President and COO, Workplace Options

Dave King, CEO, LabCorp.

Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel

Joshua Kushner, Managing Partner, Thrive Capital

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

Jeff Lawson, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Twilio

Max Levchin, CEO, Affirm

Dion Lim, CEO, NextLesson

Shan-lyn Ma, CEO, Zola

Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group

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

Walter Robb, co-CEO, Whole Foods Market

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 Company

Devin Wenig, CEO, eBay

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

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Facebook


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