NEW & UNPRECEDENTED: 100+ Tech Leaders Now Call for LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections Nationwide

by Stephen Peters

WASHINGTON – Reflecting an ever-increasing wave of support for LGBT equality, more than 100 technology industry leaders and counting have joined in an unprecedented statement to legislators calling for the addition of non-discrimination protections for LGBT people to civil rights laws. Launched last week in response to a host of anti-LGBT bills pending or signed into law in states around the country, technology leaders from coast to coast continue to sign on with their support in this historic call to action.

Over 100 anti-LGBT bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year alone. These tech leaders are unified in shifting lawmakers’ focus away from divisive and discriminatory policies to passing comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBT people.

Last week, the business community helped negotiate a measure to limit the damage of a new anti-LGBT law in Indiana. Pressure from the business community also helped limit the damage of a new anti-LGBT bill in Arkansas. Using the momentum towards equality that these issues have garnered, this call to action by technology leaders sends a clear message to legislators nationwide that their laws must guarantee no one faces discrimination and that everyone preserves their right to live out their faith.

“The unified message from these business leaders is clear: Pass LGBT non-discrimination protections and pass them now,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Until legislators finally step up to the plate and take action, this issue is not going to go away. It’s time for elected officials to listen to the overwhelming voice of fair-minded Americans demanding equality for their LGBT loved ones, friends, and neighbors. No American should risk losing their job, be denied housing, or refused service simply because of who they are or whom they love.”

New recent cosigners of the call to action for inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in non-discriminations laws include: Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, CEO,; Michael Brown, President & CEO, Symantec; Sarah Leary, CoFounder, Nextdoor; Katie Stanton, VP, Twitter; Karen Appleton, Founder,; Brit Morin, CEO, Brit + Co; Susan Wojcicki, CEO, Youtube; Melody McCloskey, Founder, StyleSeat; Brandee Barker, Co-Founder & Partner, The Pramana Collective; Greg Tseng, CEO, if(we); David Tisch, Chairman, Boxgroup; Kristen Koh Goldstein, CEO, BackOps; Jessica Herrin, CEO, Stella & Dot; Brian O’Kelley, CEO, AppNexus; Jeff Lawson, CEO, Twilio; Steven R. Boal, CEO,; Gary Shapiro, CEO, Consumer Electronics Association; Kim Jabal, CFO, Path; Ryan Holmes, CEO, Hootsuite; Alison Pincus, Co-Founder, One Kings Lane ; Jeremy Liew, Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners; Larry Page, President, Google; Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google; Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber Technologies; Brad Smith, CEO, Intuit; Mike Huang, CEO, Glow; Aileen Lee, Founder, Cowboy Ventures; Kristen Koh Goldstein, CEO, Scalus; Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook; Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook ; Chris Nicholas, President, Asymmetrica Labs; Ken Brownfield, CTO, Asymmetrica Labs; Stacy Brown-Philpot, COO, TaskRabbit; Nick Woodman, CEO of GoPro; Tony Bates, President of GoPro; Jack Lazar, CFO of GoPro; Tracy DiNunzio, CEO, Tradesy; John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco; Lorna Borenstein, CEO,; Michelle Peluso, CEO, Gilt; Ben Silbermann, CEO Pinterest; and Lloyd Carney, CEO, Brocade; Irakly George Arison, CEO, Shift Technologies Inc.; Evan Goldberg, CTO,  Netsuite; Zach Nelson, CEO, Netsuite; David Hassell, CEO, 15Five; Brian McAndrews, CEO, Pandora Media; Jared Fliesler, General Partner, Matrix Partners; Joshua Kushner, Founder, Thrive Capital; Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo!; and Bracken P. Darrell, CEO, Logitech.

The full updated list of leaders is reflected below.

Joint Statement from Tech Industry Leaders

The values of diversity, fairness and equality are central to our industry. These values fuel creativity and inspiration, and those in turn make the U.S. technology sector the most admired in the world today.

We believe it is critically important to speak out about proposed bills and existing laws that would put the rights of minorities at risk. The transparent and open economy of the future depends on it, and the values of this great nation are at stake.

Religious freedom, inclusion, and diversity can co-exist and everyone including LGBT people and people of faith should be protected under their states’ civil rights laws. No person should have to fear losing their job or be denied service or housing because of who they are or whom they love.

However, right now those values are being called into question in states across the country. In more than twenty states, legislatures are considering legislation that could empower individuals or businesses to discriminate against LGBT people by denying them service if it they felt it violated their religious beliefs.

To ensure no one faces discrimination and ensure everyone preserves their right to live out their faith, we call on all legislatures to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to their civil rights laws and to explicitly forbid discrimination or denial of services to anyone.

Anything less will only serve to place barriers between people, create hurdles to creativity and inclusion, and smother the kind of open and transparent society that is necessary to create the jobs of the future. Discrimination is bad for business and that’s why we've taken the time to join this joint statement.


Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce
Max Levchin, CEO, Affirm
Mark Pincus, Chairman, Zynga
Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp
Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square
Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter
Logan Green, CEO, Lyft
Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb
Joe Gebbia, CPO, Airbnb
Nathan Blecharczyk, CTO, Airbnb
Ron Conway, Founder, SV Angel
John Donahoe, CEO, Ebay
Paul Graham, CoFounder, YCombinator
Rich Barton, Chairman, Zillow Group
Chad Hurley, CEO, Mixbit
Adora Cheung, CEO, Homejoy
Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote
Trevor Traina, CEO, IfOnly
Nirav Tolia, CEO, Nextdoor
Dion Lim, CEO, NextLesson
Bret Taylor, CEO, Quip
Joe Lonsdale, Managing Partner, Formation 8
Thomas Layton, Chairman, Elance-odesk
Fabio Rosati, CEO, Elance-odesk
Dave Morin, CEO, Path
Mark Goldstein, Chairman, BackOps
Kevin Rose, CEO, North Technologies
Yves Behar, CCO, Jawbone
Padmasree Warrior, CTSO, Cisco Systems
Tony Conrad, CEO,
Sunil Paul, CEO, Sidecar
Michael Moritz, Chairman, Sequoia Capital
Dan Schulman, President, PayPal
Devin Wenig, President, eBay Marketplaces
Robert Hohman, CEO, Glassdoor
Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and Chair, Emerson Collective
Mohan Warrior, CEO, Alphalight
David Spector, CEO, ThirdLove
Shervin Pishevar, CoFounder, Sherpa Ventures
David Karp, CEO, Tumblr
Reid Hoffman, Chairman, Linkedin
Kevin Ryan, Chairman, Gilt
Michael Birch, CoFounder, Bebo
Hosain Rahman, CEO, Jawbone
John Zimmer, President, Lyft
Bill Ready, CEO, Braintree
Jon Oringer, CEO, Shutterstock Images
Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox
Bijan Sabet,  General Partner, Spark Capital
Douglas Merrill, CEO, ZestFinance
Tom Sheahan, CEO, RedOxygen
Brian Samelson, CEO,
Daniel Lurie, CEO, Tipping Point Community
Aaron Levie, CEO, Box
Jeff Weiner, CEO, Linkedin
Gary Moore, President & COO, Cisco
Travis Katz, CEO, Gogobot
Joe Davis, CEO, Webtrends
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
Brad Smith, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Microsoft
Josh Kopelman, Partner, First Round Capital
Rob Glaser, CEO, Realnetworks
Jason Goldberg, CEO, hem
Evan Reece, CEO, Liftopia
Dave Gilboa, CoFounder, Warby Parker
Neil Blumenthal, CoFounder, Warby Parker
Sean Parker, Chairman, Airtime
Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix     
Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, CEO,
Michael Brown, President & CEO, Symantec
Sarah Leary, CoFounder, Nextdoor
Katie Stanton, VP, Twitter
Karen Appleton, Founder,
Brit Morin, CEO, Brit + Co
Susan Wojcicki, CEO, Youtube
Melody McCloskey, Founder, StyleSeat
Brandee Barker, Co-Founder & Partner, The Pramana Collective
Greg Tseng, CEO, if(we)
David Tisch, Chairman, Boxgroup
Kristen Koh Goldstein, CEO, BackOps
Jessica Herrin, CEO, Stella & Dot
Brian O’Kelley, CEO, AppNexus
Jeff Lawson, CEO, Twilio
Steven R. Boal, CEO,
Gary Shapiro, CEO, Consumer Electronics Association
Kim Jabal, CFO, Path
Ryan Holmes, CEO, Hootsuite
Alison Pincus. Co-Founder, One Kings Lane
Jeremy Liew, Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners
Larry Page, President, Google
Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google
Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber Technologies
Brad Smith, CEO, Intuit
Mike Huang, CEO, Glow
Aileen Lee, Founder, Cowboy Ventures
Kristen Koh Goldstein, CEO, Scalus
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Chris Nicholas, President, Asymmetrica Labs
Ken Brownfield, CTO, Asymmetrica Labs
Stacy Brown-Philpot, COO, TaskRabbit
Nick Woodman, CEO of GoPro
Tony Bates, President of GoPro
Jack Lazar, CFO of GoPro
Tracy DiNunzio, CEO, Tradesy
John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco
Lorna Borenstein, CEO,
Michelle Peluso, CEO, Gilt
Ben Silbermann, CEO Pinterest
Lloyd Carney, CEO, Brocade
Irakly George Arison, CEO, Shift Technologies Inc.
Evan Goldberg, CTO,  Netsuite
Zach Nelson, CEO, Netsuite
David Hassell, CEO, 15Five
Brian McAndrews, CEO, Pandora Media
Jared Fliesler, General Partner, Matrix Partners

Joshua Kushner, Founder, Thrive Capital
Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo!
Bracken P. Darrell, CEO, Logitech

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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