North Carolina and GeorgiaEditorial, Top Highlights Thursday, March 31st, 2016
The LGBT community has finally crossed over into the mainstream. In the last 10 months with the Supreme Court decision supporting marriage equality in the United States, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender Americans have seen a dramatic shift in how America views our community. That shift underscores the importance of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has said that we have the right to marry and love anyone we want. The result is a new supportive business and political community that is not afraid to show its muscle.
While it is not unexpected that the right wing is trying to undermine the Supreme Court ruling establishing marriage equality, what is heartening is American corporations stepping forward and saying no to discrimination and bigoted laws being put forth by right wing Republicans. Some American companies displayed their political muscle initially during the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act debacle. The NCAA, Silicon Valley firms and others quickly said there would be economic repercussions if the discriminatory law targeted at the LGBT community was passed. It was the first time that many large American corporations collectively, and publicly, came to the aid of the LGBT community.
We now have the contrast of two new attacks on LGBT equality; North Carolina effectively passed legislation that overturns and bans local laws that don’t conform to the state’s nondiscrimination laws for the workplace and public accommodations. Since the state doesn’t ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace or public accommodations, this effectively forces all North Carolina cities and counties to keep it legal to discriminate against LGBT people.
In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed anti-LGBT proposed legislation because of the visceral reaction from corporations that said they would stop doing business in Georgia. Thank you Disney, Marvel, the National Football League, Delta, Coca-Cola, Home Depot and Apple, among over 450 others. The Georgia governor and the state heard you loud and clear.
Now the North Carolina furniture industry is getting the same message; your state discriminates and you suffer the consequences. With so many LGBT folks in the design industry, the North Carolina furniture industry and state will immediately feel the economic impact. New York State and the city of Seattle have immediately suspended governmental employee travel to N.C.
Discriminate and you now will face the economic consequences. All because of the Supreme Court marriage equality decision. We are now equal and everyone knows it.
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