Nick Morrow, Nick.Morrow@HRC.org, 865-386-8244
Angela Dallara, Angela@freedomforallamericans.org, 646-430-3925
On the eve of Idaho potentially becoming the first state in the nation this year to pass a law specifically targeting transgender people, Chobani, GoDaddy, Hewlett Packard Inc. and Verizon today joined more than 40 major employers in a previously released open letter, calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose bills that target LGBTQ people, and transgender children in particular. These business leaders stress the importance of fairness and opportunity for their customers, their employees and their employees’ families. This letter was released earlier this month, but has been updated with these new, additional business signers.
The signers note, “We are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ individuals - many specifically targeting transgender youth - for exclusion or differential treatment. Laws that would affect access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms, unnecessarily and uncharitably single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage. They seek to put the authority of state government behind discrimination and promote mistreatment of a targeted LBGTQ population.”
“Businesses succeed when they are innovative, welcoming and open to all,” said Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Harmful legislation — especially the torrent of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced across the country — deeply affect businesses’ ability to recruit and provide opportunities to their customers and employees. Right now, we are asking Governor Little of Idaho to veto two anti-transgender bills, which were — amid this global pandemic — shockingly considered and passed by the legislature. This type of legislation would harm transgender people in Idaho, and affect the state’s reputation and ability to recruit and retain talent and investment. There is widespread corporate and public opposition to anti-LGBTQ legislation. It’s simple: businesses and voters writ large do not want anti-LGBTQ discrimination in their states and communities, particularly in these trying times.”
“America’s business community has consistently taken a strong stand opposing legislation that discriminates against LGBTQ workers and customers,” said Kasey Suffredini, Freedom for All Americans CEO and National Campaign Director. “Business leaders understand that discrimination is bad for business, and their economic competitiveness relies on fair and inclusive work environments for their employees. This is more important than ever in the midst of a national public health crisis that is threatening millions of Americans’ economic security. In this moment, state lawmakers should be focused on passing laws to protect Americans’ livelihoods, not threatening to pass laws that discriminate, jeopardizing future state economic development and risking driving business away. We’re proud of the business leaders who signed this letter. They know how important it is for them to speak up when their team members and their families are threatened by misguided policies.”
The letter was released by America Competes (a program of Freedom for All Americans) and the Human Rights Campaign. Here is a full list of companies that have signed on to the letter:
Bayer US LLC
Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim USA
CSAA Insurance Group
Hewlett Packard Inc.
IKEA North America Services, LLC
Levi Strauss & Co.
Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Marriott International, Inc.
Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, including member companies Danone North America; Mars, Incorporated; Nestlé USA; and Unilever United States
Trillium Asset Management
Unilever United States