Dozens of tech leaders on Wednesday
issued a joint statement calling on states to add sexual orientation
and gender identity as protected classes to their civil rights laws.
According to the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate,
lawmakers in 28 states have proposed more than 85 bills that target
members of the LGBT community.
Backlash over an Indiana bill
supporters say protects religious freedom but critics argue would
open the door to discrimination against gay men and lesbians led
Republican Governor Mike Pence to ask lawmakers to “fix” the
“In more than twenty states,
legislatures are considering legislation that could empower
individuals or businesses to discriminate against LGBT people by
denying them service if they felt it violated their religious
statement reads in part.
“To ensure no one faces
discrimination and ensure everyone preserves their right to live out
their faith, we call on all legislatures to add sexual orientation
and gender identity as protected classes to their civil rights laws
and to explicitly forbid discrimination or denial of services to
More than 60 tech leaders signed on the
statement, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff (pictured) and
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.