Friday, April 1, 2016

Corporations Clobbering Anti-Gay N.C.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that North Carolina's vicious new anti-LBGT law, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor, is feeling the strain from corporate blowback.

That same response in Georgia caused the governor to essentially rescind a similar action, rather than lose the Super Bowl. Already in North Carolina, according to the Trib, "Braeburn Pharmaceuticals said it is 'reevaluating our options based on the recent, unjust legislation' whether to build a $20 million manufacturing and research facility in Durham County. The 50 new jobs paying an average of nearly $76,000 a year were announced two weeks ago.

Lionsgate Films was lining up 100 workers to shoot a TV pilot in Charlotte, but has moved the project to Canada.  Customers are pulling out of a huge furniture market in Charlotte.

The Trib reports that even though companies already operating in North Carolina would not necessarily find it financially advantageous to move, the "outsized lobbying power of major corporations could reshape how prospective talent and investors perceive North Carolina as a place they want to be."

Georgia felt intense corporate heat from "Hilton, Marriott and Starwood hotels; AirBnB, Uber and Lyft; and American Airlines, which has a major hub in Charlotte, the state's largest city. Banking and finance executives include the leaders of Bank of America, Citibank, TD Bank, PayPal, and others. Restaurateurs and retailers include leaders of Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and Levi Strauss; and technology executives joined in force, including the leaders of IBM, Apple, Intel, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, Twitter, YouTube, and many others," says the Trib.

A letter from those businesses insisted Georgia would be inhibited in recruiting individual workers, companies and students and that it "will also diminish the state's draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity."

This is a difficult position for some businesses who don't want to approve of the law (which they well might) because of a potential backlash and those who hate the discrimination are not always out front with their opinions. Fact is, though, that corporate opinion has a huge impact here.

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