Update: Hey Bryan Adams, plan on boycotting Egypt now that your agent found it on a map? Egypt Jails 11 Men Accused of Homosexuality.
Here’s a list of companies and individuals boycotting North Carolina. As a libertarian living in the state who supports the LGBT+ community, I really think there are more important issues than who can use which bathroom. But boycotting an American southern state is easy to do, the economic equivalent of liking a Facebook page. It costs firms almost nothing yet gets them attention in the media and improves their branding with the relatively affluent gay community.
Ringo Starr – Every true Beetle fan knows shooting him would have impressed Jody Foster more.
Bryan Adams – No problem visiting Egypt last month where gay sex can net you 17 years in prison. Adams said he “loves it here,” even after Egyptian customs officials vandalized his guitar. Adams also toured the Middle East in 2010 with dates in Qatar, UAE, and Damascus Syria – all places where homosexuality is illegal.
Deutsche Bank – “Deutsche Bank’s deep-seated belief in the necessity of companies contributing to the societies in which they operate” in the Middle East includes offices throughout the region including Riydah Saudi Arabia, where gay sex is illegal and the second offense will net automatic execution. Oh, and don’t mention the war.
Paypal – Operates offices in Malaysia which has imprisoned an opposition figure numerous times over the past 17 years for sodomy, a crime punishable by whipping and 20 years in prison. But Paypal cancelled plans to open offices in Charlotte NC where gay marriage as well as sodomy is legal.
Bruce Springsteen – In the 1980s I got beaten up by guys who listened to Bruce Springsteen and thought anyone who dared listen to anything not on local album rock station K-SHE 95 was a “f****t.” I thought his music was whiny neo-hippy shit then and I think it’s even more shit now. I can at least be proud that he’s about as popular today with millennials as penicillin resistant gonorrhea.
Michael Moore – Golden Corral owners statewide are breathing a sigh of relief.
xHamster – I’m not surprised he’d oppose HB2 given his homoerotic-charged scenes with Oxnard.
Joel McHale – Didn’t he have his own navy back in the 60’s?
General Electric – From the China Post: “We think globally. The way we like to think about the shipbuilding industry is: we power, we propel and we position,” said Mark Hutchinson, president and CEO of GE Greater China. I guess Hutchinson doesn’t think globally about LGTB rights. Unlike North Carolina, gay marriage continues to be illegal in China. The same week HB2 boycotters made news, a high court in China ruled against a gay couple seeking to get married. Gay rights in China are abysmal in general even with a skewed population of men outnumbering women thanks to sex-selective abortion. Would GE pull out of China to protest the Chinese court decision? Nope. Why not? It would be too expensive. Boycotting a state of 10 million is cheap. Boycotting a nation of 1.4 billion is expensive.
Dow Chemical Company – Dow has a single location in Charlotte NC. Like GE Dow has an extensive presence in China. Shouldn’t it sacrifice that presence over China’s abysmal LGBT+ rights record?
Pepsi – The drinks company expanded its presence in Africa by opening a facility in Kenya. Gay sex there is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Hyatt – The hotel chain, partly owned by Obama Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, expanded its operations in several cities in Mexico in 2014. Although gay marriage is recognized in Mexico, gay bashing is still prevalent and rarely investigated by authorities.
Hewlett Packard – The company run into the ground by former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina and her successor Mark Hurd, who left after being sued for sexual harassment, has extensive Chinese operations. See GE above.
Choice Hotels International – Who are these guys? They are the owners of a whole stable of hotel chain brands and are based in Maryland. Unlike NC, Maryland does all transgenders to use bathrooms of their choice. But Choice Hotels International hasn’t exported its homegrown anti-discrimination sensibilities abroad, operating hotels the Dominican Republic where same-sex marriage has been illegal since 2010.
Whole Foods – Not sure how these guys are boycotting NC. The store in Winston is open. Maybe by making the attitudes of the staff more rude. It will be a challenge given how high they set the bar before the boycott.
Levis Strauss & Co. – I’m a big Levi’s fan, which is why a quick check of my jeans reveals they were made in Indonesia. Yes, Indonesia – a bastion of tolerance in Southeast Asia. Actually no. Gay marriage and gay porn are both illegal, and gay sex is prohibited for Muslims. While transgenders are permitted to live as the sex they choose, “They must learn to accept their nature,” says Ichwan Syam, a prominent Muslim cleric at the influential Indonesian Ulema Council. “If they are not willing to cure themselves medically and religiously” they have “to accept their fate to be ridiculed and harassed.” That would include President Obama’s transgender nanny.
Boston – The band not the socialist utopia in Massachusetts. A 1970s creator of earworms who weren’t all killed in a small plane crash in Mississippi in 1977. Honestly I thought they were dead until a friend of mine on Facebook who happens to be a happily married gay man posted an article about the band cancelling a gig in the state.
Everyone has a right to come or do business in North Carolina as they see fit. If you want to avoid the state, go right ahead. Just don’t wrap yourself in some sanctimonious tortilla as you do so unless you are prepared to make changes that hurt. For individuals like Springsteen and Adams that would mean skipping the dough from sand-gigs in the Middle East. For large companies like GE, Paypal, and the like that would mean leaving China, a country they just can’t quit.
If this is all it has left, the gay community needs to declare victory and go home or export the fight abroad and change the world. There are gays abroad literally dying for being true to themselves in hell-holes from Tijuana to Riyadh, yet gays here would rather fight about bathrooms in North Carolina. Why? Because it’s easy and something they can do from their Macbooks during HGTV commercials. As one commentator mentioned after the Supreme Court declared gay marriage the Law of the Land, Gays can’t take yes for an answer. As a long-standing LGTB ally and libertarian, leave my state alone and take your fight elsewhere.