The head of an influential North Carolina conservative Christian group says the state would be better off not landing Amazon’s second headquarters because the company could try to shape policy in a pro-LGBTQ direction, according to report.
Rev. Mark Creech, of the Christian Action League, told the Raleigh News & Observer that Amazon is a huge company and “that would make me nervous.”
The paper reported Friday that Creech said his organization has not taken a stand on whether it wants the tech giant to come to the state.
“I’m just stating what the political landscape would be if they come,” he said. “Amazon is a huge corporation and it’s plausible to think that with as many jobs as they would bring, they could possibly bring considerable political leverage along with them.”
Amazon last month announced a short-list of 20 cities it is considering for its second headquarters.
Raleigh, North Carolina’s second largest city, is one of the finalists.
Amazon is promising to spend $5 billion on building costs and to hire 50,000 workers for good-paying jobs. In return, the firm wants big tax subsidies.
Gay groups are urging Amazon to avoid selecting a city that is in a state like North Carolina that doesn’t have laws specifically protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, the paper reported. They have organized a #nogaynoway campaign on social media as part of the effort.
Amazon, like many tech companies, has a long history of supporting gay rights and anti-discrimination legislation and has its own gay and lesbian employee group, the News & Observer reported.
According to the paper, Creech said in article Thursday on the Christian Action League’s website that making sexual orientation and gender identity specially protected classes who could sue if they feel discriminated against is essentially anti-business.