PayPal pulls plug on 400-job project over North Carolina’s LGBT laws

6 Apr 2016

The North Carolina city of Charlotte has lost out on 400 new jobs from PayPal due to the State's proposed anti-LGBT legislation

Anti-LGBT laws in North Carolina have been cited as the reason for e-commerce payments giant PayPal’s decision to pull the plug on a 400-job investment in Charlotte.

PayPal had planned to build a 400-job operations centre in the North Carolina city of Charlotte.

But PayPal scrapped its plans in response to anti-LGBT legislation that reduced legal protections for LGBT individuals in the state.

The tabled legislation has drawn criticism from corporations across the US, including Bank of America and American Airlines.

The decision by PayPal to scrap its job plans has been described as the most dramatic corporate response yet and has renewed pressure on North Carolina’s governor Pat McCrory to veto the harmful legislation.

 Silicon Valley stands firmly against anti-LGBT laws

The move signals Silicon Valley’s refusal to tolerate anti-LGBT legislation that has been cropping up steadily across the US in recent years.

Last year, Silicon Valley leaders vowed to provide no tech jobs for states that produced anti-LGBT legislation.

As well as Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking out on the subject, Silicon Valley figureheads like Salesforce’s Marc Benioff have campaigned heavily against anti-LGBT legislation that effectively turns LGBT people into second-class citizens by giving business owners the right to discriminate against them.

Last week, the governor of the US state of Georgia, Nathan Deal, vetoed a bill that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT people.

Deal denied that the decision had anything to do with campaigning by the tech industry or Hollywood, but was about doing the right thing.

Deal said it was about the character of the state of Georgia and not pressure from the tech or Hollywood industries.

“I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, of which I and my family have been a part of for all of our lives,” Deal said. “Georgia is a welcoming state. I intend to do my part to keep it that way. For that reason, I will veto House Bill 757.”

Charlotte skyline image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years