Tennessee could step up and try for a new PayPal operations center that would bring 400 jobs and is currently up for grabs, or we could just squander the opportunity by passing some more discriminatory legislation like North Carolina, Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris said.
"Large employers increasingly put a premium on diversity and inclusion, so that they can recruit the very best employees," Sen. Harris said. "Tennessee has already blocked cities from passing nondiscrimination ordinances like North Carolina did, but we haven't written discrimination into the law – yet.
"Parts of Tennessee are growing into the kind of tech hubs that would make an appealing home for employers like PayPal, but if we focus our legislative efforts on division and discrimination, PayPal and others will not answer our phone call. The PayPal jobs, and others like those, are currently up for grabs."
PayPal had planned to bring 400 jobs to a new operations center in Charlotte, N.C., but in an April 5 letter, the company explained its decision to nix those plans: "This decision reflects PayPal's deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect."
More than 100 corporate leaders have denounced the North Carolina law. Advocates for the LGBT community have warned that Tennessee is on the verge of a similar outpouring of opposition from the business community over anti-LGBT legislation in the General Assembly.
Today, a group of major players in Nashville's tourism and television production industries warned the General Assembly against taking a similar path.