Technological leviathan IBM nixed a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new National Service Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana today in opposition toward Governor Bobby Jindal’s refractory “religious freedom” executive order.
In an April letter, IBM executives articulated their “strong opposition” to Louisiana’s “Marriage and Conscience Act,” writing that “a bill that legally protects discrimination based on same-sex marriage status will create a hostile environment for our current and prospective employees, and is antithetical to our company’s values.”
IBM went on to beseech Jindal not to contribute to lawful discrimination toward LGBT people, as reported by WAFB, but Jindal would do just that.
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A House legal committee shot down the LGBT-exclusive bill on May 19, which would have insulated the “liberty” to openly discriminate and refuse service to same-sex couples. To the dismay of many, the governor and murmured presidential hopeful used an executive order to authorize some of House-rejected legislation.
“After a slow-rolling disaster that was the Bobby Jindal budget fiasco and with his poll numbers falling, perhaps the governor should stop antagonizing business with his discriminatory policies,” says Eric Walker, DNC Regional Press Secretary. “cc: Mike Pence, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and the rest of the Republican presidential field who support bad-for-business bills like this one.”
IBM may hold an event in the fall to celebrate the Service Center, which will introduce 800 technology jobs to Louisiana in the next four years, according to IBM’s website, but no statement to that effect has been made at present time.