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Attracting the Best and Brightest Means Protecting Everyone, Including LGBTQ Workers


Bronwyn Flores, Specialist, Policy and Industry Communications, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)
Last year, a wave of “bathroom bills” requiring transgender people use the bathrooms corresponding with their biological gender were introduced across state legislatures.

In March 2016, North Carolina became the first state in the United States to sign one of these bills into law. HB2 was disguised as a privacy rights bill, but in reality it legalized, protected discrimination and makes North Carolina a less desirable place to do business. The law cost the state more than $600 million in lost business by the time of the November elections.
 
Following a wave of opposition from the tech community and others, the state legislature and the governor repealed the bill in April 2017.  But some state still have discriminatory laws on the books and many others have no safeguards in place to protect LGBTQ communities.
 
According to data from the Movement Advancement Project, less than half of U.S. states have created an inclusive work environment to attract the best people available.
 
When a state government — such as North Carolina’s — set a tone that LGBTQ workers can’t be free to live their daily lives, it unintentionally hurts businesses too. Workers should not have to worry about discrimination disrupting their lives and their careers. For the U.S. to remain the world’s leader in innovation moving forward, state legislators must embrace policies that are inclusive and protect all workers.
 
To see which states are LGBTQ friendly, check out this year’s “Best and Brightest” category in the Innovation Scorecard.

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