Nearly 70 major U.S. corporations joined in a legal brief this week against North Carolina’s bathroom bill, which requires those who identify as the opposite sex to present their birth certificate before using government restrooms that correlate with their gender identity.
Apple, Dropbox, eBay, IBM, Microsoft, PayPal, NIKE, Morgan Stanley, Etsy, Levi Strauss, American Airlines, Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International are among the 68 companies that participated in the amicus (friend of the court) brief filed on Friday.
In the legal argument, the companies assert that North Carolina’s law, known as H.B. 2, is discriminatory and antithetical to their business policies.
“H.B. 2 discriminates against the roughly 44,000 transgender people in North Carolina by denying them access to single-sex facilities that accord with their gender identity but not their biological sex whenever they set foot in a facility owned or operated by any agency or arm of the State or a local government,” the brief reads.
The corporations also contend that the law could have detrimental effects on North Carolina’s economy.
“Although the economic impact of H.B. 2 on North Carolina’s economy has not yet been fully realized, commentators have estimated that the law puts at risk almost $4.8 billion in federal funding and $20 million in business investment,” the brief continues. “Those estimated losses are in addition to the $40 million in business investment that has already been withdrawn from the State, resulting in a loss of over 1250 jobs.”
The legal argument likewise opines that the law discourages travel and business to the state, and damages North Carolina’s reputation as being hospitable and welcoming.
“Moreover, studies suggest that LGBT customers tend to be loyal to brands that are LGBT-friendly,” it also reads. “H.B. 2 makes it difficult for amici in North Carolina to attract and retain these customers.”
As previously reported, officials in North Carolina sued the U.S. Department of Justice in May after it demanded that the state allow men who identify as women in women’s restrooms and vice versa. The Obama administration contends that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has generally been considered as applying to discrimination against women in treating females as inferior to males.
But Gov. Pat McCrory believes that the Justice Department is twisting the law to force an agenda.
“I do not agree with their interpretation of federal law. That is why this morning I have asked a federal court to clarify what the law actually is,” McCrory said during a press conference in announcing the suit. “This is not a North Carolina issue. It is now a national issue.”
The U.S. Department of Justice counter-sued over the matter, and again filed suit this week in seeking an injunction against H.B. 2.
Friday’s filing by 68 major U.S. corporations was led in part by the homosexual and transgender advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, as well as Ted Olson, the former attorney general under George W. Bush, who was at the center of the U.S. Supreme Court case surrounding same-sex “marriage.”