PayPal Pulls Plans in North Carolina Over Transgender Law

Photograph by Jeff Chiu — AP

PayPal is withdrawing plans to open an operations center in Charlotte, N.C., in reaction to the state overturning a local law that would have let transgender people use public bathrooms that match their gender identities.

Last week, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2, which prevents cities from protecting gay and bisexual people from discrimination, and specifically restricts transgender individuals’ rights to use restrooms and other facilities that don’t match their “biological sex.”

As PayPal CEO Dan Schulman wrote in a statement: “The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture. As a result, PayPal (PYPL) will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte.”

The operations center would have added 400 jobs to the state. PayPal said it will find an alternative location for the outpost.

Other technology heavyweights including Google (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), and IBM (IBM) have publicly criticized the law as out of line with their own core values. But PayPal is taking this a step further by removing parts of its business from the state. ESPN has also said it will evaluate its options when considering North Carolina as a site for future events.

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Schulman isn’t the only CEO taking a strong stand against discrimination against the LGBT community. Salesforce (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff recently threatened to pull his company’s upcoming Connections conference from nearby Georgia if that state’s governor fails to veto a “religious liberty” bill that is viewed by some as discriminatory against gay people.

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