In a letter titled "Dear Mr. Bezos," Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, was asked by a group of activists, politicians, and celebrities to choose a state that offers comprehensive legal protections for LGBTQ+ employees for the company's second headquarters. Amazon's list of possible locations is now down to 20 locations. Eleven of the locations are in Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, all of which do not have legal protections for people based on gender and sexuality. Some also have banned trans people from using the bathroom of their choice or have restricted gay couples from adopting kids.
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"Simply put, LGBT people are a vital part of a diverse and modern workforce, and failing to protect them and their families is bad for business," the letter said. "The other states that you are considering for HQ2 know this and have passed, and are proud of, these protections."
Bezos has a track record of defending LGBTQ+ rights. He donated 2.5 million dollars in support of same-sex marriage in the state of Washington in 2012.
"There are many individual cities that have taken positive steps, but the lack of statewide protections means that employees and their families could lose the most basic protections on their evening commutes," the letter said. "But talk is cheap. Amazon should demand that HQ2 states understand what a 'cultural community fit' really means by fully protecting all LGBTQ workers, customers, and their families."