Silicon Valley leaders vow no tech jobs for states that create anti-LGBT laws

2 Apr 2015

Some 54 of Silicon Valley’s most senior leaders have signed a joint statement to legislators voicing their protest at the growing trend of new laws in various states of the US that discriminate against LGBT people.

The leaders have thrown down the gauntlet to the architects of the offending legislation – if the states want tech jobs, they need to stop creating discriminative laws.

“This unprecedented and historic effort by the giants of the tech industry should be a clarion call to policymakers that discriminating against LGBT people is not acceptable in today’s marketplace of ideas,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. 

“These leaders have made it clear: if states want hi-tech jobs, they must put fully inclusive nondiscrimination protections in place immediately.”

Last week the state of Indiana enacted a controversial law that would allow merchants to refuse to serve a gay person if they disagree with their sexual orientation if they cite religious grounds.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post the CEO of Apple Tim Cook warned that 100 similar laws are due to be pushed through legislation across the US in the near future

“Men and women have fought and died fighting to protect our country’s founding principles of freedom and equality,” said Cook. “We owe it to them, to each other and to our future to continue to fight with our words and our actions to make sure we protect those ideals. “

The 54 leaders include Padmasree Warrior, CTSO, Cisco Systems, Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and chair, Emerson Collective; Dave Morin, CEO, Path; John Donahoe, CEO, Ebay; Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb; Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce; Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter; Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square; Chad Hurley, CEO, Mixbit; Kevin Rose, CEO, North Technologies; Michael Birch, CoFounder, Bebo; Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox; and Reid Hoffman, founder and chairman of LinkedIn.

The full list can be accessed here

LGBT image via Shutterstock

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