Big Businesses Vocalize Support Of LGBT Community Despite Anti-LGBT State Legislation

PayPal is one of many companies backing away from anti-LGBT states like Mississippi and North Carolina.

Demonstrators supporting LGBT community

House Bill 1523 was passed into law last Tuesday, and has confirmed Mississippi’s position as the state doing the least to protect the rights of gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals. Anti-LGBT legislation has been most pervasive in the south: twenty-one states have inducted legislation disagreeing with the legalization of gay marriage by allowing people and businesses to refuse service on the grounds of religious beliefs.

Despite this, many businesses are beginning to show their public support for LGBT rights, meaning that states who don’t endorse this support are losing jobs. Following North Carolina’s requirement that transgender people use public restrooms corresponding to their gender identification at birth, PayPal canceled a planned $3.6 million investment for a global operations center that would have provided jobs for hundreds of people.

Nissan, the largest employer in Mississippi has yet to take action but has made their support of the LGBT community known, alongside the largest power company Duke Energy, who expressed their opposition to discrimination despite not declaring a public position about the law. Award-winning chef John Currence expects that HB1523 – also known as the Religious Liberty Accommodation Act –will push businesses away from setting down roots in Mississippi.

Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning expressed the tight spot businesses find themselves in with respect to state legislation. He believes, “Corporations would rather be silent, but they can’t be. The public, particularly the buying public, want to know where companies stand on issues. Consumers are politicized and they are paying attention to the point that it’s become an expectation that corporations will take positions.”

Businesses are not backing down on supporting the LGBT community despite anti-LGBT legislation. Hopefully, this will only lead to further progress – rather than regression – for LGBT rights.

Photo source.

 



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