PayPal has cancelled its plan to open a global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina, in response to the state’s recently passed law that discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens.
The center would have brought 400 jobs and seen PayPal invest more than $3.6 million in the area. But the digital payments company decided not to use the location as a protest against the House Bill 2 law, which supersedes ordinances protecting LGBT people from discrimination, and prevents transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates.
“The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture,” said PayPal CEO Dan Schulman. “As a result, PayPal will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte.”
“This decision reflects PayPal’s deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect,” Schulman added
Other companies, including Google, Facebook, Apple, and IBM, have spoken out aginst the House Bill 2. More than 80 CEOs signed a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, urging him to repeal it.
The law has proved so controversial that the White House is currently reviewing whether it could affect the flow of federal aid to North Carolina, and a federal lawsuit has been launched against the state.
North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest has defended the law following PayPal’s decision. "If our action in keeping men out of women's bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it," he said in a statement.
PayPal said it is now looking for another location for its operations center.