Corporate America punishes North Carolina while opening offices in anti-gay countries
A few days ago, I wrote about PayPal's hypocrisy in canceling plans to open an office in Charlotte, N.C. due to the LGBT legislation passed by the legislature. The fact is, PayPal has corporate offices in some of the most anti-gay countries in the world.
PayPal partnered with a Middle East payment company, Network International, to open an office in Dubai. The United Arab Emirates employs the penalty of death to those convicted of being gay or performing gay sex. So PayPal punishes North Carolina for keeping men out of the ladies' room while sucking up to a government that executes people just because they're gay. Because, justice.
The company also has offices in Russia, where gay and transgender people are routinely beaten and a law is on the books prohibiting "gay propaganda."
But North Carolina is lectured and chastised for not alllowing men to use a women's room.
The Washington Times points out that corporate hypocrisy on this issue is not limited to PayPal:
Whether it’s Apple opening stores in Saudi Arabia or American Airlines looking to dominate the Cuban travel market, many of the companies that have threatened to cut business ties to North Carolina over its bathroom bill are eager to do business in countries with regimes far more repressive of gays (and everyone else).
PayPal’s international headquarters are located in Singapore, where sexual contact between males is punishable by up to two years in prison, and even littering can be punished by flogging. The company has a software development center in Chennai, India, where same-sex marriage is prohibited.
Matt Sharp, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said PayPal’s actions internationally speak louder than its words at home.
“They’ve got a political agenda that they’re trying to push in the U.S. But it definitely does not line up with what their actions are saying around the world in places like Malaysia and others,” Mr. Sharp said.
Apple is among the other major corporations that have taken to the pulpit to lecture North Carolina for its sins despite doing business with anti-gay foreign regimes. CEO Tim Cook was one of several high-profile tech CEOs who signed a letter to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory calling on him to repeal the legislation.
“We are disappointed in your decision to sign this discriminatory legislation into law,” the letter reads. “The business community, by and large, has constantly communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business.”
But, as Mr. Sharp points out, that has not stopped Apple from opening stores in Saudi Arabia, where gay people are regularly executed in public and cross-dressing is also a criminal offense. Pro-gay and trans advocacy are illegal, as is every religion except Islam.
In my PJM piece, I ask, "What justification is there for punishing an American state for passing a law inconsistent with what PayPal sees as its values regarding LGBT issues, when the company opens an office in Dubai where gay people are executed?"
The only answer to that question is profits. Corporate America is only as tolerant as it can afford to be without losing money. All this talk about "corporate values" is blather. If those "values" interfere with the company making money, the company will drop them.
The pious denunciations by corporations of the commonsense law in North Carolina ring hollow when they are exposed as hypocrites and charlatans on LGBT issues.