Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Ginni Rometty, others are asking North Carolina to repeal its 'discriminatory' law

Tim CookCBS / 60 Minutes / YouTubeApple CEO Tim Cook

One day after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal agreed to veto a bill that critics said would have encouraged discrimination against gay people, a similar fight in North Carolina has ramped up.

On Tuesday, over 80 CEOs and business leaders signed an open letter asking North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to repeal a controversial law passed last week.

Signatures included Apple CEO Tim Cook, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and, naturally, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who has been the Silicon Valley point-person speaking out against state-level laws that negatively impact the LGBT community.

The law, which was passed by North Carolina’s legislature in a one-day session and immediately signed into law by the governor, has been called a “national embarrassment” by North Carolina’s attorney general.

The law was in reaction to a regulation passed by the city of Charlotte that allowed transgender people to use bathrooms based on their gender identity. The new state law requires people to use the bathrooms based on their biological sex.

But it goes beyond regulating bathroom use and prevents local governments from passing regulations that eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity, according to a lawsuit that’s already been filed by the ACLU
.

The business community, particularly the tech community, and Hollywood are up in arms about the law.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Governor McCrory,

We write with concerns about legislation you signed into law last week, HB 2, which has overturned protections for LGBT people and sanctioned discrimination across North Carolina. Put simply, HB 2 is not a bill that reflects the values of our companies, of our country, or even the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians.

We are disappointed in your decision to sign this discriminatory legislation into law. The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business. This is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development. We believe that HB 2 will make it far more challenging for businesses across the state to recruit and retain the nation’s best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the nation. It will also diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity.

Discrimination is wrong and we believe it has no place in North Carolina or anywhere in our country. As companies that pride ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming to all, we strongly urge you and the leadership of North Carolina’s legislature to repeal this law in the upcoming legislative session.

Sincerely,

Karen Appleton, Senior Vice President, Box

Brandee Barker, Cofounder, The Pramana Collective

Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce

Chip Bergh, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.

Michael Birch, Founder, Blab

Ed Black, President and CEO, Computer & Communications Industry Association

Nathan Blecharczyk, Cofounder and CTO, Airbnb

Steven R. Boal, CEO, Quotient Technology Inc.

Lorna Borenstein, CEO, Grokker

Brad Brinegar, Chairman and CEO, McKinney

Lloyd Carney, CEO, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.

Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb

Ron Conway, Founder and Co-Managing Partner, SV Angel

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

Dean Debnam, Chairman and CEO, Workplace Options

Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square and Twitter

David Ebersman, Cofounder and CEO, Lyra Health

Jared Fliesler, General Partner, Matrix Partners

Joe Gebbia, Cofounder and Chief Product Officer, Airbnb

Jason Goldberg, CEO, Pepo

Alan King, President and COO, Workplace Options

Kristen Koh Goldstein, CEO, BackOps

Mitchell Gold, co-founder and chair-man, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

John H. Graham IV, President and CEO, American Society of Association Executives

Logan Green, CEO, Lyft

Paul Graham, Founder, Y Combinator

David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

Charles H. Hill III, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources, Pfizer Inc.

Reid Hoffman, Chairman, LinkedIn

Robert Hohman, Cofounder & CEO, Glassdoor

Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox

Chad Hurley, Cofounder, YouTube

Dave Imre, Partner and CEO, IMRE

Dev Ittycheria, President & CEO, MongoDB

Laurene Powell Jobs, President, Emerson Collective

Cecily Joseph, VP Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer, Symantec Corporation

David Karp, Founder and CEO, Tumblr

Travis Katz, Founder and CEO, Gogobot

Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel

Joshua Kushner, Managing Partner, Thrive Capital

Max Levchin, CEO, Affirm

Dion Lim, CEO, NextLesson

Shan-lyn Ma, CEO, Zola

Marissa Mayer, President and CEO, Yahoo

Melody McCloskey, CEO, StyleSeat

Douglas Merrill, CEO, Zestfinance

Dyke Messinger, President and CEO, Power Curbers Inc.

Hari Nair, Vice President and General Manager, Orbitz.com & CheapTickets.com

Michael Natenshon, CEO, Marine Layer

Alexi G. Nazem, Cofounder and CEO, Nomad Health

Laurie J. Olson, EVP, Strategy, Portfolio and Commercial Operations, Pfizer Inc.

Bob Page, Founder and CEO, Replacements, Ltd.

Michelle Peluso, Strategic Advisor and former CEO, Gilt

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

Mark Pincus, Founder and Executive Chairman, Zynga

Hosain Rahman, CEO, Jawbone

Bill Ready, CEO, Braintree

Evan Reece, CEO, Liftopia

Stan Reiss, General Partner, Matrix Partners

John Replogle, CEO, Seventh Generation

Virginia M. Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM Corporation

Dan Rosensweig, CEO, Chegg

Kevin P. Ryan, Founder and Chairman, Alleycorp

Bijan Sabet, General Partner, Spark Capital

Julie Samuels, President, Engine

George A. Scangos, PhD, CEO, Biogen

Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal

Adam Shankman, Director and Producer

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association

David A. Shaywitz, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, DNAnexus

Ben Silbermann, CEO, Pinterest

Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft

Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International

David Spector, Cofounder, ThirdLove

Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp

Bret Taylor, CEO, Quip

Todd Thibodeaux, CEO, CompTIA

David Tisch, Managing Partner, BoxGroup

Nirav Tolia, Cofounder and CEO, Nextdoor

Kevin A. Trapani, President and CEO, The Redwood Groups

Ken Wasch, President, Software & Information Industry Association

Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Co-Founders and Co-Chairmen, The Weinstein Company

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Facebook

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