Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has thrown down the gauntlet to North Carolina legislators agitating for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. Equality North Carolina shares this open letter Hughes penned about the effect an amendment would have on businesses in the Tar Heel state.
Hughes and his partner, Sean Eldridge, have also offered a way for folks nationwide to help the state equality group. The duo will donate $10 for each person who likes the Equality North Carolina Facebook page.
Complete text of Hughes' open letter after the break.
An Open Letter to the North Carolina General Assembly:
I'm writing today to express my deep concern and fervent opposition to the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment, SB106/HB777.
As the co-founder of Facebook, I have some experience with the challenges of attracting the kind of driven, dynamic and diverse employees it takes to build a fledgling start-up into a full- fledged economic success story.
Companies like Facebook, Google and Apple are the future of our global economy. But the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment signals to these and other major employers, as well as their mobile, educated employees, that North Carolina does not welcome the diverse workforce that any state needs to compete in the international marketplace.
In short, this amendment is bad for business, bad for the perception of my home state on the national stage, and a far cry from job-creating legislation that North Carolina lawmakers should be focused on.
But the negative business impact is far from the only harm of this amendment. Growing up in a conservative atmosphere in Hickory, North Carolina, I felt first-hand the stigma of being different in a Southern state--a feeling that made it clear to me that I was not welcome in North Carolina.
The proposed discriminatory legislation will only perpetuate this stigma for a new generation of creative, talented youth, uninterested in second-class citizenship in a state they call home. Gay and lesbian North Carolinians work hard, contribute to society, and want to protect their families like everyone else. Their families deserve the same respect and the same treatment as everyone else, and they should not be exposed to the derogatory and harmful anti-gay rhetoric that inevitability accompanies these kinds of campaigns. North Carolina deserves better than that.
The next Facebook or Apple or Google could be created by another North Carolinian. Be mindful of how you treat them and their families.
Chris Hughes Co-founder of Facebook and North Carolina native