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IKEA, AIG Join 200+ Business Leaders Against HB 2
From a press release
2016-05-03

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WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) and Equality NC have announced that executives from 23andMe, Instacart, The Honest Company, United Guaranty Corporation, Cabot Creamery, Castlight Health, Inc., Willis Towers Watson, Merck, IKEA US, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., AIG, Yadkin Bank and Direct Marketing Association have signed onto an open letter that now includes nearly 200 leading CEOs and business leaders urging North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the state's General Assembly to repeal the deeply discriminatory HB 2.

Additionally, as part of its "Voices of North Carolina" video series, HRC released a new video of transgender North Carolinian Tina Madison White. White speaks movingly about how the state's passage of the discriminatory law has threatened both her personal safety and love for the state she calls home. White says the bill "took me back to a world I thought I'd left behind," recounting a terrifying nightmare she had the night Governor McCrory signed the bill into law. A former business executive, White goes on to say the state's motto "First in Flight," which marks the Wright Brothers' first flight in North Carolina's skies, could come to symbolize the mass exodus of fair-minded businesses and individuals from the Tar Heel State if HB 2 is not repealed.

"It would be tragic if businesses and families decided that this was not a state that represented an open and welcoming society," White said.

A copy of the updated business letter which now includes nearly 200 major CEOs and business leaders calling for repeal of HB 2, can be found below. The letter was first made public on March 29.

The momentum to repeal HB 2 comes as Gov. McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, and House Speaker Tim Moore continue to dig in and defend their discriminatory law. Recently, Senator Berger sent a desperate and misleading letter to corporate leaders doubling down in his defense of HB 2. HRC took the liberty of redlining in the truth and publishing that letter.

"Discrimination is bad for North Carolina, bad for America, and bad for business," said HRC President Chad Griffin in announcing the 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 [month], and our businesses are leading the charge to repair our state to a place of fairness."

HRC has also invoked the North Carolina Public Records Law to gain access to any communications the Governor, the Executive Branch, or the General Assembly had among each other or with the kind of extreme anti-LGBT special interest groups who often craft and push the kind of language included in HB 2. Specifically, the organization is demanding that the government release any communications legislators or the Governor or his staff have had with the North Carolina Values Coalition or the Alliance Defending Freedom from the office of Gov. McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Berger and Speaker Moore about HB 2.

Gov. McCrory and state lawmakers are under increasingly intense pressure to repeal the discriminatory HB 2 in the current legislative session. Mayors and governors across the country are banning travel to the state, musicians are cancelling concerts, and the New York Times editorial board called North Carolina a "pioneer in bigotry." Major film studios and corporations, from PayPal to Deutsche Bank, have stopped investments in the state because of the new law. The United Kingdom's Foreign Office has even warned its LGBT citizens of the risks of traveling to North Carolina.

HB 2 has eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such protections from being passed by cities in the future. In addition, the legislation prevents transgender students in public schools from using restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity. It also compels the same type of discrimination against transgender people to take place in publicly-owned buildings, including in public universities, major airports, and convention centers. Further, HB 2 revokes the ability to sue under state employment non-discrimination law on the basis of any protected characteristic, including race, religion, national origin, and sex. Lawmakers passed the legislation in a hurried, single-day session, and Governor McCrory quickly signed it into law in the dead of night. The discriminatory law is already facing a legal challenge, and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said he will refuse to defend it in court.

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 HB 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.

While the governor's recent executive order extends protections to some state workers, it does nothing to fix the vile and discriminatory provisions he signed into law through HB 2. Under HB 2, transgender people are prohibited from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity in public buildings, including the University of North Carolina campus and the Raleigh-Durham Airport. Cities still cannot adopt ordinances to prohibit discrimination against their residents and visitors. And HB 2 still prevents individuals from bringing discrimination suit in state courts.

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,

Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Rick Anicetti, President and CEO of The Fresh Market

Karen Appleton, Senior Vice President, Box

James Avery, CEO, Adzerk

Brandee Barker, Cofounder, The Pramana Collective

Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce

Thomas J. Benton, CEO, Direct Marketing Association

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

Michael Birch, Founder, Blab

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

‹Paul Black, CEO, ‹Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.

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

Nathan Blecharczyk, Cofounder and CTO, Airbnb

Neil Blumenthal, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker

Steven R. Boal, CEO, Quotient Technology Inc.

Alex Boden, General Manager, Plum Organics

Ron Boire, CEO, Barnes and Noble

Lorna Borenstein, CEO, Grokker

Brad Brinegar, Chairman and CEO, McKinney

Michael Bronner, President, Dr. Bronner's

Craig Bromley, President, John Hancock Financial

John Bryant, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kellogg Company

Ursula Burns, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox Corporation

Wes Bush, Chairman, CEO and President of Northrop Grumman

Mandy Cabot, Co-Founder & CEO, Dansko

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, CEO, Oracle

Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb

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

Giovanni Colella, CEO, Castlight Health, Inc.

Wendy Collie, CEO, New Seasons Market

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

Scott Custer, Chief Executive Officer, Yadkin Bank

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

Bracken P. Darrell, CEO, Logitech

Dean Debnam, Chairman and CEO, Workplace Options

Mike DeFrino, Chief Executive Officer, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Donna DeMaio, President and CEO, United Guaranty Corporation

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

Chad Dickerson, CEO, Etsy

Alex Dimitrief, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, GE

Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square and Twitter

Lynne Doughtie, Chairman and CEO, KPMG LLP

Sandy Douglas, Executive Vice President & President, Coca-Cola North America, The Coca-Cola Company

Martin Eakes, CEO, Self-Help

David Ebersman, Cofounder and CEO, Lyra Health

Randy Fiser, CEO, American Society of Interior Designers

Blair Fleming, Head, RBC Capital Markets, U.S.

Jared Fliesler, General Partner, Matrix Partners

Vince Forlenza, Chairman, CEO and President, BD

Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Merck

Mark Gainey, CEO, Strava Inc.

Christopher Gavigan, Co-Founder/Chief Products Officer, The Honest Company

Joe Gebbia, Cofounder and Chief Product Officer, Airbnb

Dave Gilboa, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker

Jason Goldberg, CEO, Pepo

John J. Haley, CEO, Willis Towers Watson

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

Peter T. Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg L.P.

Logan Green, CEO, Lyft

Mike Gregoire, CEO, CA Technologies

Paul Graham, Founder, Y Combinator

Peter D. Hancock, President & Chief Executive Officer, AIG

David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

Charles H. Hill III, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources, Pfizer Inc.

Dick Hodgin, Co-Owner and Chief Engineer, Osceola Music Inc.

Reid Hoffman, Chairman, LinkedIn

Robert Hohman, Cofounder & CEO, Glassdoor

Lane S. Hopkins, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Capital One Financial Corporation

Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox

Stephen R. Howe, Jr., U.S. Chairman and Managing Partner, Americas Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

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

Richard Jenrette, Founder, Classical American Homes Preservation Trust

Laurene Powell Jobs, President, Emerson Collective

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

Kim Jordan, Founder & Executive Chair, New Belgium Brewing

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

Fred Keller, Founder & Chairman, Cascade Engineering

Alan King, President and COO, Workplace Options

Dave King, CEO, LabCorp.

Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alcoa Inc.

David Kohler, President & CEO, Kohler Co.

Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel

Joshua Kushner, Managing Partner, Thrive Capital

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

Stefan Larsson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Lauren Corporation

William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Ralph Lauren, Executive Chair and Chief Creative Officer, Ralph Lauren Corporation

Jeff Lawson, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Twilio

Matthew Lepore, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, BASF Corporation

Max Levchin, CEO, Affirm

Dion Lim, CEO, NextLesson

Frank Longobardi, CEO, CohnReznick LLP

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

Rose Marcario, CEO, Patagonia

Rob Marcus, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable

Bill Maris, CEO, Google Ventures

Marissa Mayer, President and CEO, Yahoo

Melody McCloskey, CEO, StyleSeat

F. William McNabb III, Chairman & CEO, Vanguard

Apoorva Mehta, Founder and CEO, Instacart

Douglas Merrill, CEO, Zestfinance

Dyke Messinger, President and CEO, Power Curbers Inc.

Chris Meyrick, Chief Diversity Officer, American Express Company

Steve Mollenkopf, CEO, Qualcomm Inc.

Bob Moritz, US Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC

Denise Morrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Campbell Soup Company

Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America

Oscar Munoz, President and CEO, United Airlines

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

Mark Pearson, CEO, AXA Financial Inc.

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

Michelle Peluso, Strategic Advisor and former CEO, Gilt

Christine Perich, CEO, New Belgium Brewing

Lars Petersson, President, IKEA US

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

Mark Pincus, Founder and Executive Chairman, Zynga

Mary Powell, CEO, Green Mountain Power

Hosain Rahman, CEO, Jawbone

Michael Rapino, CEO & President of Live Nation Entertainment

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

Patricia Rossman, Chief Diversity Officer and HR Communications, BASF Corporation

Kevin P. Ryan, Founder and Chairman, Alleycorp

Bijan Sabet, General Partner, Spark Capital

Brian Samelson, CEO & President, eMaint Enterprises, LLC

Julie Samuels, President, Engine

George A. Scangos, PhD, CEO, Biogen

Charles W. Scharf, Chief Executive Officer, Visa Inc.

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

Jostein Solheim, CEO, Ben & Jerry's

Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International

David Spector, Cofounder, ThirdLove

Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp

Yancey Strickler, CEO, Kickstarter

Jerry Stritzke, President and CEO, REI

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

Julie Sweet, Group Chief Executive North America, Accenture

Christopher J. Swift, Chairman and CEO, The Hartford

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

Ed Townley, CEO, Cabot Creamery

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

Mark Trudeau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

Paul Van Deventer, President & CEO, Meeting Professionals International

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.

Anne Wojcicki, CEO, 23andMe

Robert Wolfe, CEO, CrowdRise

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Facebook

See video here: www.youtube.com/watch .


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