Earlier this month, it was reported that PayPal had cancelled its plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a protest against the state’s recently passed anti-LGBT law. Now, another firm is taking a stand against House Bill 2. This time, it’s adult website xHamster, which is blocking all North Carolina IP addresses from accessing its content.
The controversial law 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. A number of companies, including Google, Facebook, Apple, and IBM, have spoken out against theHouse Bill 2, and more than 80 CEOs signed a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, urging him to repeal it.
In addition to denying North Carolina residents access to its mountains of porn, xHamster – which is one of the biggest websites of its kind and ranked 91st most popular site in the world – is presenting residents of the state with an informative popup that shows some of the searches performed by certain North Carolinians.
"We have spent the last 50 years fighting for equality for everyone and these laws are discriminatory which xHamster.com does not tolerate," an xHamster spokesperson said in a statement to the Huffington Post. " As of today, access to XHamster.com is blacked out in the state of North Carolina until further notice. Judging by the stats of what you North Carolinians watch, we feel this punishment is a severe one. We will not standby and pump revenue into a system that promotes this type of garbage. We respect all sexualities and embrace them."
There are, of course, one or two other sites on the internet that provide this sort of material, but xHamster’s stance will no doubt help shine more light on the issue. With Bruce Springsteen cancelling his concert in Greensboro, a White House review, a pending federal lawsuit, and North Carolina’s suitability as a location for sporting events being called into question, could the power of protest result in the law being repealed?