From travel bans to cancelled deals, cities, states and corporations are rallying to distance themselves from North Carolina after the governor signed a bill that prohibits municipalities from protecting their LGBT citizens.
Here is a by-no-means comprehensive round-up of those who have taken action so far – the hits keep coming, daily and fast. (Know of one we missed? Let us know in the comments! The list is growing daily.)
Additionally, we already reported on Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph halting business to North Carolina over HB2, but Watermark editor Billy Manes spoke to Randolph about that decision. Find that expanded article below the list.
States and cities banning government-funded travel to NC
West Palm Beach
Cuyahoga County (Ohio)
Companies that have denounced the law
NBA – whose all-star game is in Charlotte next year
21st Century Fox
Signatories of Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina letter that urges the leadership of NC to repeal HB 2
Levi Strauss & Co.
Barnes and Noble
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Choice Hotels International
Bank of America
Pandora Media, Inc.
Wells Fargo & Company
The Weinstein Company
Whole Foods Markeet
Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph halts office business in North Carolina over HB2
When North Carolina’s conservative legislature and governor bit the bullet, signing off on a pro-discrimination bill that was inspired by just its opposite (meaning, a municipal bill in Charlotte), nobody new how far that kind of discrimination would resonate in the political sphere. Well, now we do. The so-called “bathroom bills” plaguing the dockets and inspiring the sneak tactics of legislative politics across the country have become this year’s wedge, and it’s not going away. Lawsuits are already pending in reference to the constitutionality of such bills and laws, and brighter minds realize that the disruption of “home rule” in municipalities – including minimum wage and various employment issues – sends a message that echoes here in Florida, where home rule was put to bed just a few years ago. That is not stopping the Orange County Tax Collector’s office from protesting North Carolina, Mississippi and any other state that chooses to condemn its minorities.
“I think it was important for us to show solidarity here for the LGBT community,” Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph says, “and to keep up all the pressure we can on North Carolina.”
The tax collector’s office, which employs approximately 280 people, made a bold move on March 31, issuing a memo to all county department heads that the county’s most fiscally involved office would not be doing business with North Carolina in the near future, at least not until the sweeping declarations of HB2 are erased.
“As your independently elected Orange County Tax Collector, I firmly believe equal rights and equal protection under the constitution should be guaranteed to all employees of our office and every resident of the United States without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or veteran status,” the memo reads. “The recent passage of House Bill 2 in North Carolina threatens those rights.”
Randolph points to his office’s previous leadership on issues involving tax equity in domestic partnerships prior to the 2014 federal ruling on marriage equality.
“When we led the way on doing the tax equity policy from the tax collectors office, before the courts, we were out there trying to solve issues for our LGBT employees,” he says. “We’re hoping to lead that way again from Orange County.”
Randolph promises that there are other plans on the horizon, including the examination of county contracts and vendors as a means of promoting equality wherever he can, even if most of the North Carolina skirmish is symbolic. The county doesn’t have any fiscal data on its dealings with the state, which are, admittedly, minimal.
But, even though Orange County’s governance is generally conservative on social issues (and beyond), Randolph is sticking to the equality premise.
“Sometimes, we do what the county does, and sometimes, we obviously go in our own direction,” he says.