Amazon Encouraged To Pick LGBT-Friendly City For HQ2

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As Amazon plans to build its second headquarters, one group is urging the location be in a state that protects LGBT people.

According to a CNN news report, the No Gay No Way campaign flew their slogan on a banner outside the company's Seattle headquarters Thursday to coordinate with Amazon’s fourth-quarter earnings release. This is just one of the many demonstrations the group has initiated to ensure that all Amazon employees are protected as they plan for their new establishment.

"If you are LGBT and work for Amazon, you shouldn't be asked to move somewhere where you could possibly not lease an apartment and not have full equal rights and civil protections under the law," said Chris Fleming, a spokesman for the No Gay No Way campaign.

Related: 5 Big-Name LGBT-Friendly Businesses to Support During the Holidays

CNN reported that last month the company released a list of the 20 metro cities in the running for the new location, including nine states where LGBT people aren’t protected — Atlanta, Austin, Columbus, Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, Nashville, Raleigh and Northern Virginia.

The campaign has spotlighted this concern by running a digital ad in Seattle and those nine states that says: "Hey, Alexa? Why would Amazon even consider putting HQ2 in a state that discriminates against LGBT people?"

However, while many argue that a move to a city without laws to protect LGBT people would harm the company, others believe the company could thrive.

Related: Amazon Search for HQ2 Linked to LGBT Rights?

"There is a way for them to positively spin a selection of a city like that as a force for good," said Stephen Walls, a senior marketing lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business.

Nevertheless, the campaign has started a conversation on how major business giants can begin reflecting the values they have and the people they serve.  

"It does bring a spotlight and awareness for the LGBT community. I wish this kind of protest would have an impact on Amazon's decision," Walls, who is gay and lives in Austin, said. "I would love to see companies make more decisions based on the values they claim to hold and assert."

For more information, visit NoGayNoWay.com.


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