A conservative Christian lobbyist has expressed fears that Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon would only make North Carolina more LGBT-friendly if it pushes through with its plan to establish its second headquarters in the state.
On Feb. 8, Christian Action League published a story on its website about a pro-LGBT group's #nogaynoway campaign which urged Amazon not to establish its HQ2 in states that do not promote or safeguard gay rights. Christian Action League's executive director, Rev. Mark Creech, said North Carolina would be better off without the planned establishment if the company makes an attempt to push the state into a more LGBT-friendly direction, The Raleigh News & Observer relayed.
Raleigh is included in Amazon's list of possible sites for its planned second headquarters. The e-commerce giant, which is known to be a strong supporter of pro-LGBT legislation, said the project would generate 50,000 well-paying jobs in the state.
Creech clarified that his organization has not taken an official stand on the issue. However, he admitted that the prospect of Amazon building its headquarters in the state makes him nervous, knowing how influential the company is.
"I'm just stating what the political landscape would be if they come," said Creech. "Amazon is a huge corporation and it's plausible to think that with as many jobs as they would bring, they could possibly bring considerable political leverage along with them."
The city of Philadelphia has also made it to Amazon's wish list of possible sites for its second headquarters. However, the campaign manager for #nogaynoway has pointed out that the state of Pennsylvania does not have an ordinance that protects the rights of the LGBT community, Philly.com reported.
According to #nogaynoway campaign manager Conor Gaughan, there is no guarantee that Philadelphia's city ordinance would not be struck down by Pennsylvania's "discriminatory state law." He decried the lack of statewide protection for LGBT individuals, saying some employees may work within the city but reside in another community in the state.
Amazon, on the other hand, has declined to comment on the issue. The company is expected to reveal its final decision on the location of its second headquarters this year.