A number of Silicon Valley tech executives -- including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff -- are voicing opposition to North Carolina's sweeping anti-LGBT law via an open letter to the state's Governor Pat McCrory.
The letter was released through the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Equality NC, a state organization focused on equal rights for LGBT citizens in North Carolina.
In all more than 80 CEOs and executives signed the letter to Governor McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly urging them to repeal the controversial House Bill 2, which passed the state's legislature last week.
The law eliminated an ordinance passed in Charlotte, North Carolina, which protected transgender people who use public restrooms based on their gender identity. The new law also nullified local ordinances around the state that were designed to protect members of the LGBT community from being fired for their sexual orientation or identity.
The letter is as follows:
Dear Governor McCrory,
We write with concerns about legislation you signed into law last week, HB 2, which has overturned protections for LGBT people and sanctioned discrimination across North Carolina. Put simply, HB 2 is not a bill that reflects the values of our companies, of our country, or even the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians.
We are disappointed in your decision to sign this discriminatory legislation into law. The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business. This is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development. We believe that HB 2 will make it far more challenging for businesses across the state to recruit and retain the nation's best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the nation. It will also diminish the state's draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity.
Discrimination is wrong and we believe it has no place in North Carolina or anywhere in our country. As companies that pride ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming to all, we strongly urge you and the leadership of North Carolina's legislature to repeal this law in the upcoming legislative session.
Additional signees include chief executives from Airbnb, Dropbox, Google, Paypal, Lyft, Yelp, Tumblr and Brocade, just to name a few. Bob and Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company also stamped their names among the opposition.
The backlash to HB2 from the nation's tech leaders comes just a day after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced he would veto the state's "religious liberty" bill after pressure from Hollywood studios and companies such as Disney and the NFL. Salesforce's Benioff was also actively against Georgia's bill, as well as a similar bill that was proposed and eventually shot down in Indiana last year.