As Internet giant Amazon.com works on deciding which city to build their second headquarters in, they’ve suddenly found their Seattle headquarters in the midst of a protest. Activists are even flying their message around the building complex with a banner attached to an airplane.
According to CNN, Amazon has narrowed their list of potentials cities for “HQ2” to 20 in North America. But LGBT activists are not happy that the company included 9 particular cities on the list.
Here are the cities, as compiled by CNN:
Los Angeles, California
Montgomery County, Maryland
Newark, New Jersey
New York City, New York
Northern Virginia, Virginia
Raleigh, North Carolina
Activists are upset that nine of those metropolitan areas exist in states that have not created a special set of protections for people who identify as LGBT. Those metro areas are Atlanta, Austin, Columbus, Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, Nashville, Raleigh, and Northern Virginia.
A plane towing a banner that read “No Gay? No Way!” was spotted around the Seattle headquarters on Thursday. Another ad the LGBT group is running asks Amazon how they could “even consider putting HQ2 in a state that discriminates against LGBT people.”
The group’s spokesman added, “If you are LGBT and work for Amazon, you shouldn't be asked to move somewhere where you could possibly not lease an apartment and not have full equal rights and civil protections under the law.”
UCLA School of Law policy directory Christy Mallory weighed in, too, saying that, "It could restrict the talent pool. People may not want to work in that environment.”
States have lost business in the past for not having particular LGBT laws in place. In March of last year, North Carolina partially repealed their “bathroom bill,” which required people to use public bathrooms that match the gender listed on their birth certificate, according to NPR.
Proponents of the bill argued that it helped protect women and girls in bathrooms and maintain their privacy. But their decision led to many companies either refusing to expand their business in North Carolina or hold any events in the state. Critics pointed out that they continued to do business with and hold events in countries where LGBT lifestyles are punishable by law, according to CNS News.
The estimated loss in business investments and visitor spending for North Carolina was between $77 million and $201 million, according to Politifact, but an official in then-Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration claimed there was no economic effect.
What do you think about this? In other news, three more children have been after reportedly being held captive in a home of filth and torture.