by Ray Hayes
As Amazon is reviewing its list of 20 cities for its second headquarters, many activist groups have begun to chime in. Whether it be on where the company should put the new facility and how they should determine which city gets it, tons of people and different groups want to be heard by Amazon. A few weeks ago, a plane flew over the Amazon headquarters in Seattle, WA with a banner reading, “No Gay? No Way!” The banner is the campaign name of a gay rights group that is urging Amazon to build its new headquarters in a state that protects LGBT people against discrimination.
Out of the 20 states Amazon listed as finalists, nine cities including Atlanta, Austin, Columbus, Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, Nashville, Raleigh, and Northern Virginia are located in states that, “fail to protect LGBT people from employment, housing and public accommodations discriminations,” according to the campaign.
In an effort to sway Amazon’s decision, the gay rights group is running digital ads in Settle and those nine states that says, “Hey Alexa? Why would Amazon even consider putting HQ2 in a state that discriminates against LGBT people?” Even if one of the nine states that has been listed as discriminating towards LGBT wins the bid, Amazon could easily say that it will work with the state and city to advocate for LGBT rights. But it seems that will not be enough to satisfy, the gay rights group. Chris Fleming, spokesman for the No Gay? No Way! campaign, recently said, “”If you are LGBT and work for Amazon, you shouldn’t be asked to move somewhere where you could possibly not lease an apartment and not have full equal rights and civil protections under the law.”
As of now Amazon has declined to comment further on whether the “No Gay? No Way!” campaign will factor into the company’s decision.