Facebook, Apple, Google, other tech CEOs demand North Carolina repeal anti-LGBT law

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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Equality NC just released a letter addressed to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, urging him to repeal the provisions of House Bill 2. H.B. 2 eliminates non-discrimination ordinances and effectively writes into the state law of North Carolina discrimination against LGBT people. More specifically, it forces transgender students in public schools to use bathrooms and other facilities that are inconsistent with their gender identity. The legislation passed last Wednesday, with McCrory signing it into law that night.

The letter (pasted below) includes signatures from more than 80 CEOs, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. Chad Griffin, president of the HRC and Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, will deliver the letter to McCrory’s office on Thursday morning. They’ve also requested a meeting with Governor McCrory on Thursday.

“Discrimination is bad for North Carolina, bad for America, and bad for business,” Griffin said in a release. “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.”

Update with comment from Salesforce: “Equality is a core value at Salesforce and we are committed to protecting our employees and customers from discrimination. HB 2 is an attack on equality, specifically the LGBTQ community, and it creates a discriminatory environment in North Carolina. Salesforce joins companies like Bank of America, IBM, Dow, the NBA and many others in opposing HB 2, and we strongly urge the legislature and Governor McCrory to repeal this law.”

This letter comes just one day after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a bill that was designed to allow businesses to legally discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds. The veto came after Salesforce, along with other companies, threatened to stop doing business in the state.

Here’s the text of the full letter:

Dear Governor McCrory,

We write with concerns about legislation you signed into law this week, House Bill 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 country. 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.
Lorna Borenstein, CEO, Grokker
Brad Brinegar, Chairman and CEO, McKinney
Lloyd Carney, CEO, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.
Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb
Ron Conway, Founder and Co-Managing Partner, SV Angel
Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
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
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
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
Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox
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
David Karp, Founder and CEO, Tumblr
Travis Katz, Founder and CEO, Gogobot
Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel
Joshua Kushner, Managing Partner, Thrive Capital
Max Levchin, CEO, Affirm
Dion Lim, CEO, NextLesson
Shan-lyn Ma, CEO, Zola
Marissa Mayer, President and CEO, Yahoo
Melody McCloskey, CEO, StyleSeat
Douglas Merrill, CEO, Zestfinance
Dyke Messinger, President and CEO, Power Curbers Inc.
Hari Nair, Vice President and General Manager, Orbitz.com & CheapTickets.com
Michael Natenshon, CEO, Marine Layer
Alexi G. Nazem, Cofounder and CEO, Nomad Health
Laurie J. Olson, EVP, Strategy, Portfolio and Commercial Operations, Pfizer Inc.
Bob Page, Founder and CEO, Replacements, Ltd.
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
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
Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal
Adam Shankman, Director and Producer
Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association
David A. Shaywitz, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, DNAnexus
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
Bret Taylor, CEO, Quip
Todd Thibodeaux, CEO, CompTIA
David Tisch, Managing Partner, BoxGroup
Nirav Tolia, Cofounder and CEO, Nextdoor
Kevin A. Trapani, President and CEO, The Redwood Groups
Ken Wasch, President, Software & Information Industry Association
Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Co-Founders and Co-Chairmen, The Weinstein Company
Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO, Facebook

Featured Image: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Getty Images