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CEOs urge repeal of new state transgender law

Published:Wednesday | March 30, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The chief executives running dozens of big technology, biotech and financial companies are urging North Carolina officials to repeal a new state law preventing local governments from expanding protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The letter, released Tuesday by gay rights advocates, is signed by corporate chieftains including IBM CEO Virginia Rometty, Apple head Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

The letter urges Gov Pat McCrory and legislative leaders to repeal the law introduced and passed in a one-day special legislative session last week. The General Assembly meets again next month.


The law requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that match their birth certificates. The law also makes clear that local measures cannot expand anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation or gender identity. A statewide organisation that worked to get Charlotte's nondiscrimination ordinance overturned by the state legislature says hundreds of North Carolina businesses support the new state law, but that some are afraid of retaliation if they make that support public.

In a press release Tuesday, the NC Values Coalition said bullying from the LGBT community has some business owners afraid for the well-being of their businesses and families if they speak out. The release did not offer any examples to back up that claim.

Spokeswoman Kami Mueller said that precedent has been set in other states for businesses owners to have reasonable fear if they speak in support of the state law.The release did have the names of 17 businesses that were willing to be identified as supporting the new law.

A top legislative Republican says North Carolina's Democratic attorney general should resign if he will not defend the far-reaching new state law that in part voids Charlotte's anti-discrimination ordinance.

Senate Leader Phil Berger said on Tuesday that Attorney General Roy Cooper appears to be pandering to left-wing backers as he runs for governor against incumbent Republican Gov Pat McCrory. Berger says Cooper's campaigning is making it impossible for him to fulfill his duties as attorney general.