April 6, 2016 12:35 pm
Updated: April 7, 2016 10:10 am

Here are the companies opposing North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law

Protesters call for Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant to veto House Bill 1523, which they says will allow discrimination against LGBT people, during a rally outside the Governor's Mansion in Jackson, Miss., Monday, April 4, 2016.

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
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Backlash continues to grow after North Carolina lawmakers passed a law allowing religious groups and some private businesses to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The law excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from anti-discrimination protections, and blocks municipalities from adopting their own anti-discrimination and living wage rules.

The legislation also marked the first state law in the United States limiting the bathroom options for transgender people, requiring them to use those conforming to the sex on their birth certificates. Mississippi passed a similar law on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, tech giant PayPal announced it had cancelled plans to expand into Charlotte, N.C. thanks to the law, which the company’s CEO Dan Schulman said “violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture.”

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“This decision reflects PayPal’s deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect,” the company said in a statement.

According to the Charlotte Business Journal, the proposed expansion would have had an annual payroll impact of nearly US$20.4 million.

But PayPal isn’t the only company to speak out against the law. More than 100 corporate officials have publicly declared the law as unfair – many of them major tech companies.

Charlotte happens to be an up-and-coming tech sector in the U.S. In fact, when PayPal first announced its plans to expand to the city, Schulman noted that the region’s rich tech talent pool was a deciding factor in the move.

READ MORE: Georgia Governor: We don’t need to discriminate to protect faith

Microsoft, IBM, Facebook and many other tech companies all have offices in North Carolina – many of which have spoken out against the law.

In a statement posted to the Forest City, N.C. data centre Facebook page, Facebook said it was disappointed by the decision to pass the law.

Microsoft president Brad Smith urged lawmakers not to “move backwards” in a tweet.

Google also chimed in on Twitter, “We believe in equal rights and equal treatment for all. This North Carolina law is misguided & wrong.”

In a statement to the Charlotte Observer, an Apple spokesperson said, “Apple Stores and our company are open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. That’s why we support the federal Equality Act. Our future as Americans should be focused on inclusion and prosperity, and not discrimination and division. We were disappointed to see Governor McCory sign this legistation.”

Last week, over 80 tech executives signed a letter addressed to Governor McCrory, asking him to repeal the law.

“We believe that House Bill 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,” read the letter, sent March 29.

The letter included signatures from:

  • Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb
  • Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
  • Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square and Twitter
  • Logan Green, CEO, Lyft
  • Reid Hoffman, Chairman, LinkedIn
  • Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox
  • Steve Huffman, CEO, Reddit
  • Chad Hurley, Cofounder, YouTube
  • Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber
  • David Karp, Founder and CEO, Tumblr
  • Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel
  • Marissa Mayer, President and CEO, Yahoo
  • Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
  • Ben Silbermann, CEO, Pinterest
  • Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer, Microsoft
  • Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal
  • Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp
  • Devin Wenig, CEO, eBay
  • Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, Facebook

Executives from many other major U.S. and international companies also signed the letter, including executives from Barnes and Noble, Kellogg Company, Pfizer, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Whole Foods Markets and Starbucks.

UDPATE (April 7): On Wednesday, executives from eight major companies signed another letter – this one addressed to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant – speaking out against Mississippi’s anti-LGBT law.

“We are disappointed to see the legislature and governor’s office pass discriminatory legislation. 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,” read the letter.

The letter was signed by executives from Levi Strauss, GE, Hyatt Hotels, Whole Food Markets, Hewlett Packard and Pepsi Co.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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