IBM, which employs thousands in the Triangle area, doesn’t want North Carolina to adopt a controversial religious freedom bill that opponents say would allow discrimination against the LGBT community.
The company’s senior executive in North Carolina, Robert Greenberg, wrote a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory noting the company’s opposition, as reported by WRAL earlier this morning.
From Greenberg’s letter:
IBM has a large number of employees and retirees in North Carolina and is gravely concerned that this legislation, if enacted, would enable discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or identity. We call on members of the Legislature to defeat this bill.
Our perspective is grounded in IBM’s 104-year history and our deep legacy of diversity and inclusion — a legacy to which we remain strongly committed today. IBM is opposed to discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. We urge you to work with the Legislature to ensure that any legislation in this area is not discriminatory.
Several other tech companies have spoken against the bill, which would allow businesses to choose who they do work for based on religious beliefs. Opponents have said that essentially is a license to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. Similar legislation that became law in Indiana ignited a national firestorm of opposition.
Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst wrote earlier this month that his Raleigh-based company embraces diversity and called the oroposed North Carolina legislation “divisive” and harmful to the state’s economy.