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LGBTQ Rights Advocates Tell Amazon: Take North Carolina Off HQ2 List

Amazon announced Raleigh is on the list of 20 possible contenders for its HQ2.
Jason deBruyn

As Raleigh tries to appeal to Amazon for its new headquarters, an LGBTQ rights group is pushing the company to look elsewhere.

The campaign called "No Gay? No Way!" says Amazon should not build its highly-anticipated HQ2 in any state that does not have statutory LBGTQ non-discrimination measures. 

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane has pointed out the city has its own ordinance that does include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. 

But Chris Fleming, spokesman for the No Gay? No Way! campaign, says LGBTQ employees need broader protections.

"While a city might be able to provide protections to their residents and to people who live within those city limits, if indeed you don't, you literally on your commute home are losing your civil rights and protections," Fleming said.

The campaign flew a plane over the South by Southwest festival last weekend in Austin, where McFarlane and other mayors were talking about the economic impacts of Amazon's HQ2.

McFarlane told the News and Observer she believes Amazon's presence in Raleigh could be an influential force.

“How can we work with them to address issues like inequity?” she told the newspaper. “Maybe we work with them to create internships and provide work access to citizens who have the hardest time finding work.”

Amazon's HQ2 comes with the prospect of 50,000 new jobs. Raleigh is among the 20 areas on the company's short list for its second headquarters.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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