The City Council’s LGBT caucus is pushing Amazon not to put its new headquarters in a city without strong laws against anti-gay discrimination.
In a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Speaker Corey Johnson and four other gay Council members say they’re “very concerned” that the company’s second headquarters could land somewhere “that fails to protect residents from discrimination.”
Out of 20 bids Amazon is considering for the massive project, 11 are in states that advocates say lack laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation or credit on the basis of sexual orientation.
“This would have a devastating impact on tens of thousands of employees who Amazon plans to hire, putting them and their families at risk,” the pols wrote. “No one should have to risk losing their job, be denied housing, refused service, or unfairly denied credit because of who they are and who they love.”
Amazon’s 20-city short list for $5 billion second headquarters
Considering gay rights laws would be a boon to New York City’s own bid, which is among the finalists.
New York has proposed Manhattan’s far West Side and downtown along with waterfront Brooklyn and Queens as potential development areas.
“Here in New York, we know that equality, diversity and fairness are good not only for our communities but for business as well,” wrote the caucus members, who also include Danny Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens, Carlos Menchaca of Brooklyn and Ritchie Torres of the Bronx.
Amazon is expected to have some 50,000 employees at its new location.
Seven states aren’t interested in hosting Amazon’s HQ2
The “No Gay? No Way!” campaign is urging the company to nix locations without comprehensive anti-discrimination laws — which would rule out applications by Philadelphia, Austin, Dallas, Miami and Atlanta among others.
“These leaders in the NYC City Council are exactly right. Amazon should locate HQ2 in a state that doesn’t discriminate against LGBT people and their families,” said campaign manager Conor Gaughan. “New York and other states with anti-discrimination protections understand the importance of this, and when they affirm it, they’re showing they have a competitive advantage over states that do discriminate. Amazon should pay close attention.”
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
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