The Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage on the federal level last year has created some backlash in ‘bible belt” states within America, where citizens are more likely to be against such laws due to religious beliefs. In response, some states have passed, or at least proposed laws that are posed as promoting “religious liberty” but also can be viewed as discrimination towards LGBT people.
In Georgia, laws of this nature were gaining momentum, but did not pass. In part, companies like Disney and the NFL threatened to remove key business ventures from the state in protest, which would have cost them millions of dollars in revenue.
But in North Carolina, it has been a different story. The City of Charlotte actually passed laws to protect LGBT people, but Governor Pat McCrory responded by enacting legislation on the state level. It forces transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to the gender of their birth, and puts up barriers towards future LGBT friendly laws.
Companies have already reacted with backlash. PayPal pulled out of an office in the state, which would have created 400 jobs. Other companies who will be looking into moving business and jobs from the state include Red Ventures, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals and the NBA. These kinds of laws may work on a local level, but clearly many global companies do not want to be seen as supporting governments that allow discrimination of any kind. It will be interesting to see if this type of pressure forces McCrory to reconsider his stance.