Online retailing giant Amazon has come out in opposition to anti-LGBTI legislation being considered in Tennessee.
The tech firm signed a letter from numerous companies arguing the implementation of legislation could create ‘creates unnecessary liabilities’ in the state.
The moves come as Amazon is seeking to expand its presence in the business-friendly state.
Tennesseean lawmakers are considering passing a number of controversial laws which would curtail the rights of trans people and same-sex couples.
‘Policies that negatively impact LGBT people and their families have drastic economic consequence’
The legislation under consideration includes banning same-sex couples from marrying or adopting, and restricting trans people’s access to bathrooms.
Sponsors of the bill claim they want to protect ‘religious freedoms’.
Over a dozen other companies signed the letter condemning the proposals. Among the companies are Salesforce, Dell Technologies, Postmates, Warner Music Group, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Cares, Fox News reports.
The letter, which was drafted by Freedom For All Americans, states: ‘Legislation that explicitly or implicitly allows discrimination against LGBT people and their families creates unnecessary liability for talent recruitment and retention, tourism, and corporate investment to the state.
‘We’ve seen time and again that discriminatory policies that negatively impact LGBT people and their families have drastic economic consequences, and such policies would surely put Tennessee at an economic disadvantage.’
‘There will be consequences when states threaten LGBTQ rights’
Earlier this month, LGBTI activists had contacted Glamazons, Amazon’s LGBTI employee resource group.
LGBTI rights campaign No Gay? No Way! had asked the group that they put pressure on the company to oppose Tennessee’s anti-LGBTI legislation.
— NoGayNoWay (@NoGayNoWay) April 23, 2019
‘Thank you to Amazon, especially the Glamazons, for standing up for LGBTQ Tennesseans today by opposing this hateful and discriminatory legislation,” said Conor Gaughan, campaign manager for No Gay? No Way!
‘It sends an important message to legislators here in Tennessee, and across the country, that Amazon – alongside America’s best corporations – are taking notice of laws and policies in the states where they do business; there will be consequences when states threaten LGBTQ rights,’ Gaughan added.
Last month, the campaign had asked that Amazon only consider LGBTI-friendly states for its second headquarters.
There have been successful efforts from the private sector to pressure local governments on LGBTI rights in the past.
In 2016, a number of companies, including PayPal, the NCAA, Adidas, canceled plans to build or expand offices and host events with regards to the state’s ‘bathroom bill’.
The bill has since been partially repealed.