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Google Ventures bans investments in North Carolina in wake of HB2

Joseph McCormick April 1, 2016

GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, has banned investments in North Carolina.

HB2 was passed in North Carolina earlier this month, in a move which voided local LGBT protection laws, and banned local authorities from re-introducing them.

The Attorney General of North Carolina earlier this week said he will not defend the new law that bans LGBT protections if it’s taken to court.

Roy Cooper has said that he believes the legislation is discriminatory and it should be repealed.

North Carolina has been  urged to pull HB2 by the CEOs of over a hundred corporations including Facebook, Reddit, Google, PayPal, eBay, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Intel, Yelp, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, Starwood Hotels, Marriott, and a number of banks.

The investment arm of Alphabet, GV, has decided not to back any companies in the US state of North Carolina in the wake of HB2.

GV joins the growing list of companies to boycott North Carolina until the bill is repealed.

The CEO of GV, Bill Maris, signed a letter by the Human Rights Campaign which was signed by many other CEOs.

Maris also sent a memo to GV’s partners, asking them to “flag any investments in NC that come through as I am not comfortable deploying dollars into startups there until the voters there fix this.”

The CEO also personally has a stake in North Carolina, as he worked as a researcher at Duke University.

He told ReCode: “I have great faith in the people there and a lot of affinity for the state and its people… I am hopeful this will be repealed quickly.”

GV manages $2.4 billion, previously has not invested in any firms in North Carolina.

In addition, New Jersey’s Braeburn Pharmaceuticals yesterday said it is “reevaluating our options on the recent, unjust legislation”, deciding whether to build the $20 million manufacturing and research base in Durham County.

If Braeburn pulls the factory, it will take with it the 50 jobs, paying an average of $76,000 each.

Governor McCrory sat down with human rights activist earlier this week who brought with them the HRC letter signed by over 100 business leaders.

The governor “appreciated the opportunity to sit down and deal with these complex issues through conversation and dialogue as opposed to political threats and economic retaliation,” his spokesman, Josh Ellis, said in a statement.

Also yesterday it was announced that County Clerk-turned-jailbird Kim Davis’ lawyers from the Liberty Counsel had offered to defend the law, as the state’s Attorney General said he thought it was unlawful.

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

Related: This trans man blew away North Carolina’s new bigoted law with just one picture

McCrory’s decision has attracted a legal challenge as well as a growing boycott of the state – with two of the largest cities in the US opting to ban travel to the North Carolina.

In close succession, the Mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced travel bans.

Davis, who served five days in jail last year for refusing to allow gay couples to marry, shocked opponents this year when she came out against proposals to segregate Kentucky’s marriage licences.

More: google venture, gv, hb2, North Carolina, s, US

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