Recently, in a less than democratic, one-day special session, North Carolina lawmakers passed House Bill 2, signed into law by NC Governor Pat McCrory that same day. Referred to as HB2, this law makes it legal for businesses and State employees to refuse service to LGBT individuals, and to fire them from their jobs without cause. It then protects those businesses that discriminate by barring civil suits from being filed in state courts. If municipalities want to offer protections to the LGBT communities within their jurisdictions, the law ensured that they couldn't by preempting municipal nondiscrimination ordinances.
There's more. This bill prohibits municipalities from raising the minimum wage or mandating other benefits beyond those offered at the state level. And don't forget to bring your birth certificate with you when you go to the bathroom in North Carolina, so you can prove you are using the bathroom assigned to your birth gender, another requirement of the law.
The response from businesses has been swift and clear. PayPal and Deutsche Bank both announced they would cancel expansion projects in North Carolina. One hundred thirty CEOs, including John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation, signed a letter calling for repeal of HB2. And the global B Corporation community, representing 1,700 companies, will move its October Retreat and related events from North Carolina if the law is not repealed by June 30.
Mr. Replogle, who leads Seventh Generation Ventures from HQ Raleigh, said, “As a founding B Corp, we stand united with the 1,700 CEOs who are using business as a force for good and will muster all of our resources to overturn this abhorrent law. North Carolina deserves better and the business community must stand united that HB2 is bad for our state and bad for business.’
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, "An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Please join The Human Rights Campaign or other organizations working to repeal the injustice of HB2.
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