NORTH CAROLINA–Apple, Google, and Facebook are just a few of the dozens of companies protesting the recent law in North Carolina that prevents municipalities from establishing their own anti-discrimination legislations.
Facebook, Google and Apple run major data-processing compounds in western North Carolina. They joined American Airlines, IBM and others in objecting to the measures outlined in the state law adopted on Wednesday, specifically those that banned anti-discrimination organizations for gays, lesbians and transgender people. However, none of the high-profile companies have publicly threatened to stall business in North Carolina.
San Francisco’s mayor, Ed Lee, said that city workers should not travel unless absolutely necessary. The city has a substantial gay and lesbian population, and “will not subsidize legally sanctioned discrimination,” Lee said in a statement.
The Charlotte ordinance, the act that North Carolina’s recent legislation directly countered, would have enabled transgender individuals to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, as well as the commencement of sweeping anti-discrimination protections across the city.
North Carolina is the first state to pass legislation requiring public school and university students to use only bathrooms that are aligned with their biological sexes, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
Advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights say that state legislators alienate and degrade them with ridiculous bathroom claims. Supporters say the new law protects all people from having to share bathrooms with people who make them feel uncomfortable.
“North Carolinians should be aware of this so they have the opportunities to be consumers of companies that are congruent with their values,” North Carolina Values Coalition Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald said.
Other individuals, like Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, have signed into law, a spokesman for his re-election campaign said. Spokesman Ricky Diaz did not reply when asked to list the businesses in support of the legislation.
“Not only is it wrong to discriminate, but we should not be putting our economy in jeopardy,” said Attorney General Roy Cooper, a democrat running against McCrory this fall. Cooper told 99.9 The Fan, a Raleigh-area radio station, calling the actions creating the law “a national embarrassment.” He also commented on the poor chances that the state has of landing sporting events like the NCAA basketball tournament and the NBA All-Star Game in 2017 if this legislation holds. Both organizations have released statements that express their strong concerns with the law, but did not explicitly say that they would withdraw their plans for future sporting events in the area. McCrory and his allies have already blamed Cooper for not being more active in the situation. They believe that Cooper should’ve prevented the General Assembly from stopping Charlotte’s ordinance.
“About 200 protesters blocked a downtown Raleigh street in front of the state’s Executive Mansion on Thursday evening. Police said in a statement that five people were arrested after they sat down in the street and refused orders to disperse,” According to ABCNews.com.
McCrory, a former Charlotte mayor, resides in the mansion while in the state capital but was not present during the protests, said spokesman Josh Ellis.