Forty tech leaders from Silicon Valley, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Cisco CTSO Padmasree Warrior, and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, have issued a joint statement to lawmakers through the Human Rights Campaign calling for the addition of protections for LGBT people into state laws. We first saw the statement in a BuzzFeed article written by Chris Geinder.
The move is a response to bills like the religious discrimination law currently under contention in Indiana.
“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,” the statement says.
The effort to organise this statement was spearheaded by Max Levchin, CEO of Affirm.
Here’s the full list of signatories to this statement:
- Max Levchin, CEO, Affirm
- Mark Pincus, Chairman, Zynga
- Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp
- Marc Benioff, CEO, SalesForce
- Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square
- Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter
- Joe Green, CEO, Lyft
- Brian Chesky, CEO, AirBnB
- Joe Gebbia, CPO, AirBnB
- Nathan Blecharczyk, CTO, AirBnB
- Ron Conway, CEO, Axon JuriMed Group LLC
- 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, CEO, 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, about.me
- 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, CIO, Penny Mac
- Shervin Pishevar, CoFounder, Sherpa Ventures
And here’s the full statement, per the HRC website:
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.
The HRC says that it expects more leaders to sign onto this statement later today — Apple CEO Tim Cook is notably absent from the list of signatories, despite his public opposition to the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act.