8 Executives Sign Open Letter Urging Mississippi To Repeal Anti-Gay Law

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April 7, 2016 8:19 a.m.

The executives of eight companies on Wednesday signed onto an open letter urging Mississippi lawmakers to repeal a new law that allows businesses to deny services to LGBT individuals, the Human Rights Campaign announced on Wednesday.

Executives from GE, Dow Chemical, PepsiCo, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Hyatt Hotels, Choice Hotels, Levi Strauss, and Whole Foods Market all signed onto the letter, joining numerous other companies that had already spoken out against the law.

“We are disappointed to see the legislature and governor’s office pass discriminatory legislation. The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business,” the executives wrote in the letter.

“This is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development,” they continued. “We believe that HB 1523 will make it far more challenging for businesses across the state to recruit and retain the nation’s best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the country. It will also diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity.”

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed the legislation into law on Tuesday despite opposition from some corporations and LGBT advocacy groups. The law allows businesses to deny services to same-sex couples, as well as allows businesses to deny services based on the belief that “sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage” and that gender is determined at birth. It also lets religious groups fire individuals with differing religious views and block adoptions to gay couples.

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