Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is stepping up for the LGBT community once again.
Almost a year after Benioff and his cloud-computing company led the charge to stop a proposed anti-gay law in Indiana to legalized discrimination against LGBT people in the name of religious freedom, Benioff says he is gearing up for a fresh fight against a similar bill in Georgia.
“Nobody wants a discrimination law in America today,” Benioff. But there are still bigots out there fighting for people to be discriminated against.”
Salesforce only has about 1,000 workers in Georgia, but in May it is scheduled to host its annual Connections conference in Atlanta. The event draws about 15,000 Salesforce clients each year for three days. On Friday, Benioff posted a poll on Twitter, asking if he should change the event’s location if the FADA bill becomes law. This morning, 80 percent of the roughly 5,800 voters supported the move.
“We will bring economic consequences,” Benioff told the Huffington Post. “We will deliver a rolling thunder of economic sanctions against the state, in this case Georgia, which is waging a war against LGBT people.”
Benioff plans to bring other corporations into the battle also and has already contacted the chief executives of Home Depot, Coca-Cola, email marketing service MailChimp and shipping giant UPS about the issue all of which are headquartered in the state.
Georgia state Sen. Joshua McKoon (R), sent out a barrage of tweets on Friday afternoon criticizing Benioff for threatening to pull out of his state while continuing to do business in India and Singapore stating: “To threaten this economic extortion to influence the public policy process is not only incredibly wrong, but hypocritical. It’s unbelievably hypocritical for someone who I’m not convinced has even read the legislation that’s under consideration here to make the suggestion that businesses should leave the state because he has some interpretation that this is in some way anti-gay.”
Last year Georgia also had 248 film and television productions shot in Georgia including the AMC blockbuster “The Walking Dead” on AMC; “Rectify” on Sundance.
The industry represents $1.7 billion in spending in the state.
Source: The Huffington Post