by Elliott Kozuch •
Washington -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Equality NC announced that executives from Alaska Airlines, Aon plc., BlackRock, BNY Mellon, Cummins Inc., Hunter Douglas Inc., Leidos, RSM US LLP, and Sabre have signed onto an open letter that now includes more than 200 leading CEOs and business leaders urging North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the state’s General Assembly to repeal the deeply discriminatory HB 2.
A copy of the updated business letter, which now includes more than 200 major CEOs and business leaders calling for repeal of HB 2, can be found here and below. The letter was first released on March 29, and includes many companies listed as North Carolina’s largest private employers by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
The momentum to repeal HB 2 comes as the Charlotte City Council is standing strong against Republican lawmakers in Raleigh and leaders of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, who have attempted to redirect blame for the economic backlash of HB2. Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore earlier this week reiterated their support for the discriminatory bill, with Moore saying that the provision barring transgender people from the appropriate bathroom is “non-negotiable.”
"Discrimination is bad for North Carolina, bad for America, and bad for business," said HRC President Chad Griffin in announcing the letter. "These business leaders are speaking out because they know this attack on lesbian, gay, bisexual and especially transgender North Carolinians isn't just morally wrong -- it also puts their employees, customers and North Carolina's economy at risk. For the sake of all North Carolinians, Governor McCrory and the General Assembly must act now to repeal this heinous attack on fairness and equality."
"North Carolina's place as a business leader in the South is based on fairness, inclusion, and diversity,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro with the original launch of the open letter. “HB 2 does not represent North Carolina values, and it weakens our competitive edge. We are glad to see our business community in the Old North State standing up against discriminatory measures like this. Governor McCrory made a mess of our state last [month], and our businesses are leading the charge to repair our state to a place of fairness."
HRC has also invoked the North Carolina Public Records Law to gain access to any communications the Governor, the Executive Branch, or the General Assembly had among each other or with the kind of extreme anti-LGBT special interest groups who often craft and push the kind of language included in HB 2. Specifically, the organization is demanding that the government release any communications legislators or the Governor or his staff have had with the North Carolina Values Coalition or the Alliance Defending Freedom from the office of Gov. McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Berger and Speaker Moore about HB 2. The request has not been met or addressed in the six weeks since its submission.
The full letter to Governor McCrory and list of signatories is below:
Dear Governor McCrory,
We write with concerns about legislation you signed into law this week, House Bill 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 country. 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.
Joseph M. Adams, Managing Partner & CEO, RSM US LLP
Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Rick Anicetti, President and CEO, The Fresh Market
Karen Appleton, Senior Vice President, Box
James Avery, CEO, Adzerk
Brandee Barker, Cofounder, The Pramana Collective
Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce
Thomas J. Benton, CEO, Direct Marketing Association
Chip Bergh, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.
Michael Birch, Founder, Blab
Ed Black, President and CEO, Computer & Communications Industry Association
Paul Black, CEO, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.
Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Goldman Sachs Group
Nathan Blecharczyk, Cofounder and CTO, Airbnb
Neil Blumenthal, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker
Steven R. Boal, CEO, Quotient Technology Inc.
Alex Boden, General Manager, Plum Organics
Ron Boire, CEO, Barnes and Noble
Lorna Borenstein, CEO, Grokker
Brad Brinegar, Chairman and CEO, McKinney
Craig Bromley, President, John Hancock Financial
Michael Bronner, President, Dr. Bronner’s
Lesley Slaton Brown, Chief Diversity Officer, HP Inc.
John Bryant, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kellogg Company
Ursula Burns, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox Corporation
Wes Bush, Chairman, CEO and President, Northrop Grumman
Mandy Cabot, Co-Founder & CEO, Dansko
Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, co-CEOs, Atlassian
Lloyd Carney, CEO, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.
Gregory C. Case, President and CEO, Aon plc.
Marc Casper, President and CEO, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.
Safra Catz, CEO, Oracle
Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb
Emanuel Chirico, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PVH Corp.
Giovanni Colella, CEO, Castlight Health, Inc.
Wendy Collie, CEO, New Seasons Market
Ron Conway, Founder and Co-Managing Partner, SV Angel
Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
Roger W. Crandall, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
Scott Custer, Chief Executive Officer, Yadkin Bank
Paul T. Dacier, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, EMC Corporation
Bracken P. Darrell, CEO, Logitech
Dean Debnam, Chairman and CEO, Workplace Options
Mike DeFrino, Chief Executive Officer, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Donna DeMaio, President and CEO, United Guaranty Corporation
Bill Demchak, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
Chad Dickerson, CEO, Etsy
Alex Dimitrief, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, GE
Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square and Twitter
Lynne Doughtie, Chairman and CEO, KPMG LLP
Sandy Douglas, Executive Vice President & President, Coca-Cola North America, The Coca-Cola Company
Martin Eakes, CEO, Self-Help
David Ebersman, Cofounder and CEO, Lyra Health
Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BlackRock
Randy Fiser, CEO, American Society of Interior Designers
Blair Fleming, Head, RBC Capital Markets, U.S.
Jared Fliesler, General Partner, Matrix Partners
Vince Forlenza, Chairman, CEO and President, BD
Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Merck
Mark Gainey, CEO, Strava Inc.
Christopher Gavigan, Co-Founder/Chief Products Officer, The Honest Company
Joe Gebbia, Cofounder and Chief Product Officer, Airbnb
Dave Gilboa, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker
Jason Goldberg, CEO, Pepo
Kristen Koh Goldstein, CEO, BackOps
Mitchell Gold, co-founder and chair-man, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
John H. Graham IV, President and CEO, American Society of Association Executives
Peter T. Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg L.P.
Logan Green, CEO, Lyft
Mike Gregoire, CEO, CA Technologies
Paul Graham, Founder, Y Combinator
John J. Haley, CEO, Willis Towers Watson
Peter D. Hancock, President & Chief Executive Officer, AIG
David Hassell, CEO, 15Five
Gerald Hassell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BNY Mellon
Charles H. Hill III, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources, Pfizer Inc.
Dick Hodgin, Co-Owner and Chief Engineer, Osceola Music Inc.
Reid Hoffman, Chairman, LinkedIn
Robert Hohman, Cofounder & CEO, Glassdoor
Lane S. Hopkins, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Capital One Financial Corporation
Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox
Stephen R. Howe, Jr., U.S. Chairman and Managing Partner, Americas Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
William H. Howle, President of U.S. Retail Banking Group, Citibank
Steve Huffman, CEO, Reddit
Chad Hurley, Cofounder, YouTube
Dave Imre, Partner and CEO, IMRE
Dev Ittycheria, President & CEO, MongoDB
Richard Jenrette, Founder, Classical American Homes Preservation Trust
Laurene Powell Jobs, President, Emerson Collective
Michael O. Johnson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Herbalife
Kim Jordan, Founder & Executive Chair, New Belgium Brewing
Cecily Joseph, VP Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer, Symantec Corporation
Steve Joyce, CEO, Choice Hotels International
Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber
David Karp, Founder and CEO, Tumblr
Ron Kass, President and CEO, Hunter Douglas Inc.
Travis Katz, Founder and CEO, Gogobot
Fred Keller, Founder & Chairman, Cascade Engineering
Alan King, President and COO, Workplace Options
Dave King, CEO, LabCorp.
Tom Klein, CEO, Sabre
Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alcoa Inc.
David Kohler, President & CEO, Kohler Co.
Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel
Joshua Kushner, Managing Partner, Thrive Capital
Michael W. Lamach, Chairman and CEO, Ingersoll-Rand plc
Stefan Larsson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Lauren Corporation
William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Ralph Lauren, Executive Chair and Chief Creative Officer, Ralph Lauren Corporation
Jeff Lawson, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Twilio
Matthew Lepore, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, BASF Corporation
Max Levchin, CEO, Affirm
Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc.
Dion Lim, CEO, NextLesson
Frank Longobardi, CEO, CohnReznick LLP
Shan-lyn Ma, CEO, Zola
Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group
Vishal Makhijani, COO, Udacity
Tom Mangas, CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Rose Marcario, CEO, Patagonia
Rob Marcus, Chairman and CEO, Time Warner Cable
Bill Maris, CEO, Google Ventures
Marissa Mayer, President and CEO, Yahoo
Melody McCloskey, CEO, StyleSeat
Charlesiah McLean III, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Leidos
F. William McNabb III, Chairman & CEO, Vanguard
Apoorva Mehta, Founder and CEO, Instacart
Douglas Merrill, CEO, Zestfinance
Dyke Messinger, President and CEO, Power Curbers Inc.
Chris Meyrick, Chief Diversity Officer, American Express Company
Steve Mollenkopf, CEO, Qualcomm Inc.
Bob Moritz, US Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC
Denise Morrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Campbell Soup Company
Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America
Oscar Munoz, President and CEO, United Airlines
Hari Nair, Vice President and General Manager, Orbitz.com & CheapTickets.com
Christopher J. Nassetta, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hilton Worldwide
Michael Natenshon, CEO, Marine Layer
Alexi G. Nazem, Cofounder and CEO, Nomad Health
Alexis Ohanian, Cofounder, Reddit
Laurie J. Olson, EVP, Strategy, Portfolio and Commercial Operations, Pfizer Inc.
Bob Page, Founder and CEO, Replacements, Ltd.
Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO, American Airlines
Mark Pearson, CEO, AXA Financial Inc.
Mike Pedersen, CEO and President, TD Bank, N.A.
Michelle Peluso, Strategic Advisor and former CEO, Gilt
Christine Perich, CEO, New Belgium Brewing
Lars Petersson, President, IKEA US
Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
Mark Pincus, Founder and Executive Chairman, Zynga
Mary Powell, CEO, Green Mountain Power
Hosain Rahman, CEO, Jawbone
Michael Rapino, CEO & President, Live Nation Entertainment
Bill Ready, CEO, Braintree
Evan Reece, CEO, Liftopia
Stan Reiss, General Partner, Matrix Partners
John Replogle, CEO, Seventh Generation
Walter Robb, co-CEO, Whole Foods Market
Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco Systems
Virginia M. Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM Corporation
Dan Rosensweig, CEO, Chegg
Patricia Rossman, Chief Diversity Officer and HR Communications, BASF Corporation
Kevin P. Ryan, Founder and Chairman, Alleycorp
Bijan Sabet, General Partner, Spark Capital
Brian Samelson, CEO & President, eMaint Enterprises, LLC
Julie Samuels, President, Engine
George A. Scangos, PhD, CEO, Biogen
Charles W. Scharf, Chief Executive Officer, Visa Inc.
Paula Schneider, CEO, American Apparel
Steve Schoch, CEO, Miramax
Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal
Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO, Starbucks
Adam Shankman, Director and Producer
Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association
David A. Shaywitz, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, DNAnexus
Behshad Sheldon, President and CEO, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals
Ben Silbermann, CEO, Pinterest
Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft
Jostein Solheim, CEO, Ben & Jerry's
Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International
David Spector, Cofounder, ThirdLove
Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp
Yancey Strickler, CEO, Kickstarter
Jerry Stritzke, President and CEO, REI
John G. Stumpf, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Wells Fargo & Company
Julie Sweet, Group Chief Executive North America, Accenture
Christopher J. Swift, Chairman and CEO, The Hartford
Bret Taylor, CEO, Quip
Todd Thibodeaux, CEO, CompTIA
Brad Tilden, CEO, Alaska Airlines
Brian Tippens, Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
David Tisch, Managing Partner, BoxGroup
Nirav Tolia, Cofounder and CEO, Nextdoor
Ed Townley, CEO, Cabot Creamery
Kevin A. Trapani, President and CEO, The Redwood Groups
Mark Trudeau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Paul Van Deventer, President & CEO, Meeting Professionals International
Ken Wasch, President, Software & Information Industry Association
Casey Wasserman, Chairman and CEO of Wasserman & President and CEO of the Wasserman Foundation
Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Co-Founders and Co-Chairmen, The Weinstein Company
Devin Wenig, CEO, eBay
Tim Westergren, Founder and CEO, Pandora Media, Inc.
Anne Wojcicki, CEO, 23andMe
Robert Wolfe, CEO, CrowdRise
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Facebook
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