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Tech Companies, Execs Take Stance Against North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law

The opposition to North Carolina’s controversial anti-LGBT law is growing, and many of the world’s biggest tech companies are joining the chorus of vocal opponents. Google, Facebook, Apple and Paypal are among those who have spoken out against the legislation since it was rushed through the state Legislature and signed into law by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday.

“We oppose all laws that enable or encourage discrimination,” said Google in a public statement Thursday, which also called the law in question “misguided and wrong.” Cisco followed suit on Friday, declaring in a statement that it was “extremely disappointed and concerned” by the law and a similar discriminatory bill currently in front of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

Facebook said in a statement that it opposes “efforts that discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation.” Other tech companies that have spoken up in opposition to the law include IBM, Apple and Paypal.

In addition, a number of executives of major etch companies took to Twitter to personally take a stance. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich declared that “more than ever, now is the time to be an #LGBTQAlly and stand up for nondiscrimination.” Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, whose company has its headquarter in the state, called the law “a clear step backwards.” And Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff not only encouraged other businesses to take a stance against the law, but also sided with protesters engaging in civil disobedience.

North Carolina’s Legislature passed state law HR2 in a special session on Wednesday. Claiming to be a response against a local ordinance that would have protected against discrimination based on one’s sex or gender identify, the law effectively blocks all local LGBT anti-discrimination efforts.

The tech industry isn’t the only one protesting North Carolina’s law: The MPAA also voiced opposition against it Thursday. And while tech and media are taking a stance against North Carolina’s law, they’re also increasing their pressure on Deal to veto Georgia’s so-called religious liberty bill. One example: Benioff threatened to move Salesforce’s Connections conference, scheduled for May in Georgia, out of the state if Deal signs the bill into law.

Correction: 4:35pm: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Salesforce was threatening to move its Connections conference out of North Carolina. The company is instead rethinking on whether to host it in Georgia.


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