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Chicago Mayor will help North Carolina’s businesses relocate to avoid anti-gay law

Nick Duffy March 31, 2016
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The Mayor of Chicago – a key ally of Barack Obama – has extended an invitation to businesses based in North Carolina to move to his city instead.

Earlier this month the state of North Carolina passed a law which voids all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, as well as permitting businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.

The new law, signed into law by Republican Governor Pat McCrory, also bans transgender students in public schools from using their preferred bathroom.

McCrory’s decision has attracted a legal challenge as well as a growing boycott of the state – with New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and New York State all cutting formal ties with the state in protest, through a travel ban.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has gone one step further, adding that he will personally help North Carolina’s business community – which was overwhelmingly opposed to the law – to relocate.

Mayor Emanuel is a key ally of Barack Obama and the Clintons who previously served as Obama’s Chief of Staff – and he firmly nailed his flag to the mast on the issue this week.

Not only has the Mayor drafted an executive order banning city employees from travelling to North Carolina, he also said he will reach out to businesses dissatisfied with the law, offering to help them relocate 800 miles to a “more inclusive” Chicago

According to Chicago Business he told reporters: “North Carolina’s values are of exclusion and intolerance, versus tolerance and inclusion.

“I have already been on the phone and asked my staff to develop a list of companies… that would be interested in [being] in a different environment from one of exclusion.”

More than 80 major business leaders have signed a letter slamming North Carolina’s new law, and many have threatened to withdraw their business from the state.

President Obama has thus far avoided being drawn into the controversy over the law personally, though the White House has described it as “mean spirited”.

Related topics: business, Chicago, Gay, Law, LGBT, North Carolina, rahm emanuel, Sexuality, US

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