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Tech titans rise up against anti-LGBT legislation in Miss., N.C.

Sharon Gaudin | April 8, 2016
Companies including PayPal, IBM, Google and Facebook condemn new laws.

Google also condemned the North Carolina law, tweeting, "We believe in equal rights and equal treatment for all. This North Carolina law is misguided & wrong. #WeAreNotThis."

In Georgia, meanwhile, business backlash against a similar discriminatory bill in Georgia pushed Gov. Nathan Deal to veto that controversial legislation. In that case, Netflix and Apple were among the corporations that condemned the potential move.

Whether the statements and actions of big tech companies with social clout and deep pockets will have any effect on the latest "religious freedom" laws remains to be seen.

Judith Hurwitz, an analyst with Hurwitz & Associates, said such actions may only benefit the companies that take a stand against discriminatory laws.

"Technology companies do have an influence in communities, since they are offering new generation jobs that are needed in states that have lost older industrial jobs," Hurwitz told Computerworld. "I think that tech companies, given their demographics, feel an obligation to support their employees and need to set a standard for non-discrimination."

However, Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst, said there's always a downside when a company aligns itself with one side in a political or social debate.

"This doesn't make sense competitively," Kagan said. "This is like a company saying it's for a Democratic or Republican presidential candidate. It will both strengthen their relationships with one side and weaken them with the other."

 

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