3 Big Industries Taking a Stand Against Homophobic States

This week, a couple of states have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons: Georgia for its House Bill 757 which would allow people in the state to blatantly discriminate against LGBT people and North Carolina for passing legislation deemed the “worst anti-LGBT bill in the country.”

While you’d expect liberals and activists to speak, what’s a little more surprising is just how many corporate entities are shaming Georgia and North Carolina for their laws. We’ve reached a tipping point in the gay rights movement when companies are less concerned about avoiding political stances in order to appeal to a broad customer base and more concerned with promoting basic decency.

If we’re being honest, the United States is pretty much a corporatocracy at this point. Corporations and private interest money have a firm control over the government, so big business’ opinions hold serious sway over the political discourse.

Liberals may be (justly) fighting to disrupt corporate rule in this nation, but we’d be silly not to notice what an important endorsement it is to have corporations vocally backing the LGBTQ community. For the time being, protests and logical arguments don’t have nearly the pull that companies that threaten to pull their money do when it comes to influencing lawmakers.

Here are 3 major industries that are openly opposing hate and could play a big role in having the Georgia and North Carolina governors veto the bills:

1. Tech Companies

Internet brands are coming out in force against both states. Google called North Carolina’s law “misguided and wrong,” calling for an end to any rules that permit discrimination. Facebook joined in on to this sentiment, expressing disappointment that North Carolina would even consider this kind of legislation. Facebook , which has a data center in the state, says it will fight to oppose this sort of discrimination.

PayPal similarly chided the Georgia bill, and finds itself in a trickier position when North Carolina introduced its own legislation. PayPal is scheduled to open a business center in Charlotte later in the year, so if it chooses to leverage that business, it could wield a lot of power with the governor.

Even smaller companies are getting in on the fight. Kelvin Williams, a gay man and founder of 373K, a telecommunications company, said that he will be closing his business’ headquarters in Georgia and move his employees to the Delaware branch instead.

2. Entertainment Production Companies

Disney set a bold tone for fellow entertainment companies against homophobic laws. Not only is the company voicing its disapproval, it’s threatening to stop doing business in the state if things proceed. Georgia offers special tax incentives to studios that film in their state, making it a popular site for big productions, but that source of income for the state will be less certain.

“Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” said a Disney spokesperson.

Other media companies that have previously been attracted to Georgia for similar tax purposes are following suit. Sony Pictures, Fox, Time Warner, CBS and Netflix are just some of the big names that are publicly condemning the laws and suggesting that they’ll look for other states to film in in the future if the bill isn’t vetoed.

3. Professional Sports

Football, the country’s most watched sport, is a lucrative business for a lot of states. Georgia in particular is banking on this money Atlanta is building a new stadium and already has a bid in to host the 2019 Super Bowl.

Though the NFL hasn’t said officially condemned the state for its anti-LGBT legislation, it has released a statement saying that the league puts inclusiveness above discrimination for all sorts of identities including sexual orientation. It then offered a not so subtle reminder that the NFL would consider local and state laws that go against this philosophy when choosing future Super Bowl sites.

Make no mistake the NFL has significant clout. After the league threatened to not hold big games in Arizona if it passed a 2014 homophobic bill, Governor Jan Brewer decided to veto the legislation.

Meanwhile, professional basketball is pulling a similar power play on the state of North Carolina. The league has said it is “deeply concerned” about the discriminatory legislation and has suggested that it will have to give consideration to whether the 2017 All-Star Game can still be held in Charlotte as originally planned.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

194 comments

william Miller
william Miller2 years ago

thanks

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Christine J.
Christine J2 years ago

Companies certainly wield a lot of power, for good or bad.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Emily G.
Em G3 years ago

Glad someone is making a huge difference. People in crowds have huge power--but big companies have even more, especially when money is involved!

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Debbie Hartman
DEBORAH Hartman3 years ago

great info. thanks

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Nina S.
Nina S3 years ago

tyfs

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anastasia panarina

thanks for information

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Margaret M. F.
Marge F3 years ago

Nice. Thank you for posting.

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Maud Morin
Maud M3 years ago

stand up!!

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Elaine W.
Past Member 3 years ago

Beryl Ludwig and anyone who lives in the state and can't boycott...... VOTE! I think your Attorney General Roy Cooper should be your Governor.

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