Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) chief executive Mark Benioff was outraged by a Georgia bill that he says discriminates against gay people. He stated that his company will terminate operations in the state if the bill is passed into law.
The state legislature has already passed the bill into law and the only thing between it being passed into law is a signature from Gov. Nathan Deal. Benioff stated that Salesforce will lower its investment in the state if the governor signs the bill into law. The bill allows religious organizations to withhold services such as education, charity and social services to gays. The same would also be applied by faith-based organizations when making employment decisions meaning gay people could become disadvantaged.
The bill was initially to focus on organizations such as mission groups, education institutes and churches but analysts claim that the broad nature of the bill might also allow hospitals, homeless shelters and businesses among others into the mix. The bill is a very sensitive matter for the state and for that reason, it has been accorded a decision-making window that will end on May 3.
Mr. Benioff is one of many business people who have taken up the issue. When the legislature passed the bill on Thursday, Benioff expressed his disapproval on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). He stated that Georgia is trying to legalize a bill that would lead to discrimination. He also described it as insanity and urged Governor Deal to reject the bill.
There is also an organization called Georgia Prospers that is leading the fight against the bill and about 400 businesses in the state have joined to offer overwhelming support in the fight against the bill. Deal with therefore have to consider the opposition before making the final decision. Deal had previously stated that the state would reject any bill that allows discrimination and those against the bill are counting on him to maintain his stand based on the statement.