Why we’re covering this: While our community praises businesses for speaking out against anti-LGBT legislation, we should also hold them business accountable for financially supporting the politicians who created and passed the legislation in the first place.
“Lowe’s, Microsoft, and American Airlines all have two things in common: They have strongly criticized North Carolina’s new law that prevents local governments from prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and money from their affiliated political action committees helped put the politicians who passed the law in office…
However, Bank of America’s PAC (political action committee) has been a consistent, significant contributor to Gov. McCrory; Phil Berger, president pro tempore of the state Senate; Tim Moore, speaker of the state House; and the North Carolina Republican Party… Lowe’s PAC gave… $8,000 when [McCrory] ran in 2012. Lowe’s has donated $14,500 in recent years to Berger, $2,000 to Moore, and $16,250 to the North Carolina Republican Party…
Since 2008, the Microsoft PAC has given $2,000 to McCrory, $3,000 to Berger, $2,000 to Moore, and $4,000 to the North Carolina Republican Party… The American Airlines PAC gave $2,500 to Berger and $1,000 to Moore for their most recent campaigns in 2014.”
— Writer Jon Schwarz at The Intercept discussing the hypocritical businesses behind North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law prohibiting cities from creating LGBT non-discrimination protections and forcing transgender people to use the bathroom matching the gender on their birth certificate.
Katie Cody, a spokeswoman for American Airlines spoke out against the law last week and Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft Microsoft signed onto a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) letter alongside 80 other tech companies opposing North Carolina’s law. Lowe’s and Bank of America’s Tweeted statements against the law are below.
BofA is steadfast in our commitment to nondiscrimination and to our LGBT employees. pic.twitter.com/CPm71JHUS3
— Cathy Bessant (@CathyBessant) March 24, 2016
— Ryan Ruggiero (@RyanRuggiero) March 24, 2016
The inept HRC gives Bank of America, Microsoft and American Airlines a 100 rating in their Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a rating which apparently doesn’t include anti-LGBT political donations even though the HRC came under fire in 2010 for giving Target a 100 CEI rating despite their PAC’s donation of $150,000 to the state’s anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. At least the HRC gave Lowe’s a rating of 20, seemingly because the company refuses to participate in the CEI survey.
Yesterday, we pointed out that 11 North Carolina’s House Democrats also voted in favor of the anti-LGBT law.