U.S. businesses uniting to oppose anti-LGBT legislation in states

The Wisconsin Gazette

Major U.S. corporations this week launched a statement by businesses speaking out against an onslaught of anti-LGBT legislation being considered in states around the country, including measures to sanction discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs.

The statement, circulated by the Human Rights Campaign, calls on public officials to defeat or abandon efforts to enact anti-LGBT measures at the state level and offers business leaders an opportunity to join the campaign.

In a recent op-ed for The Washington Post, Apple CEO Tim Cook decried pro-discrimination laws as dangerous and called on business leaders to speak up.

Joining Apple and Cook in the statement for equality are American Airlines, Inc.; Levi Strauss & Co; Microsoft Corp.; Orbitz Worldwide; Replacements, Ltd; ​Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.; Symantec Corporation; and Wells Fargo & Company.

And the list continues to grow.

“Business leaders have made it abundantly clear that these anti-LGBT bills undermine their core values and set dangerous precedents that stifle investment and economic growth,” said HRC president Chad Griffin in a news release. “Anti-equality lawmakers who value corporate investments in their state should sit up, pay attention, and abandon these bills attacking LGBT people.”

The statement that businesses and business leaders are signing says:

“Corporate leaders are speaking out against bills that could allow individuals and businesses to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and other minorities — several versions of which are actively being considered in states across the country.

This proposed legislation is bad for business.

• Equality in the workplace is a business priority to foster talent and innovation, and these state laws undermine this core value.

• These state laws set a dangerous precedent that stifles investment and economic growth by jeopardizing a state’s status as a welcoming place for employees to live and thrive, undermining the success of a business at large.

• It is unreasonable for job creators to recruit a diverse workforce from states that encourage businesses to discriminate against our community of employees or consumers.

• While these bills won’t alter our commitment to equality in the workplace, this legislation sends the wrong message about the states in which we operate and threatens our core corporate commitment to respect all individuals. 

On the Web …

Businesses and business leaders wishing to sign on the statement can download a PDF at http://goo.gl/gKEic2.