Yelp CEO: We Won’t Expand In States with Anti-Gay Laws

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March 27, 2015 11:58 a.m.

The CEO of the ratings website Yelp said the company will take steps to only expand into states that don’t have “religious freedom” laws like the one that was just signed into law in Indiana by Gov. Mike Pence (R).

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, in a post on Yelp’s blog titled “An Open Letter To State Considering Imposing Discrimination Laws” noted that that 19 other states have similar religious freedom laws.

“These laws set a terrible precedent that will likely harm the broader economic health of the states where they have been adopted, the business currently operating in those states and, most importantly, the consumers who could be victimized under these laws,” Stoppelman wrote on Tuesday.

Stoppelman published the post shortly after Pence’s signing of the law earlier that day. The law allows Indiana businesses to refuse service to gay people on the grounds of “religious objections.” A number of public figures (including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) and businesses have bashed the law. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said his company would cancel programs in Indiana in protest of the law.

“In the meantime, Yelp will make every effort to expand its corporate presence only in states that do not have these laws allowing for discrimination on the books,” Stoppelman continued. “I also hope that other companies will draw a similar line in the sand for equality on behalf of their employees and the greater public to persuade legislators to do the right thing and stop or rescind these harmful laws.”

(H/t: Kay Steiger)

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