Facing a barrage of opposition from more than 80 major companies, backers of North Carolina’s new LGBT law sought Wednesday to highlight support for the measure.
The N.C. Values Coalition asked supporters on Tuesday night to vote in an unscientific poll on the Triangle Business Journal’s website. The poll asked readers if the new law is “bad for business.”
“This poll, while not scientific, is important for us to win to show the court of public opinion that the vast majority of people are thinking and saying ‘no – of course it isn’t bad for business to protect women and children in North Carolina!’” the email said, encouraging supporters to vote more than once by taking the poll on multiple electronic devices. “We need around 2000 votes TONIGHT to gain the headway we have lost.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the poll had received more than 11,500 votes, with 53 percent saying the law isn’t bad for business. About 47 percent of votes answered that the law will hurt business.
A letter from major national companies calling for the law’s repeal was signed by Virginia M. Rometty, chairwoman, president and CEO of IBM corporation; Tim Cook, CEO of Apple; Bob and Harvey Weinstein of the Weinstein Company; Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook; and Marissa Mayer, president and CEO of Yahoo.
Meanwhile, Senate leader Phil Berger’s campaign launched a website, standwithmccrory.com, which includes a petition to “thank NC Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders for fighting to keep our children safe and passing a common-sense law to stop grown men from sharing locker rooms and bathrooms with young girls.”
The website features a photo of a smiling McCrory in front of a man attempting to enter a women’s restroom.
The website includes a link for donations, but the contributions don’t go to McCrory’s re-election campaign – they go to the Phil Berger Committee.
The Values Coalition also announced Wednesday that its list of businesses that support the law had grown to 350, although it only provided the names of 44. Most of them are small businesses, some of which don’t have employees aside from the owner.
Several businesses, including Hanesbrands and Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston, were removed from the list because the employees who signed the petition weren’t authorized to speak for the companies.
The Values Coalition is also asking supporters to sign up for a website called “Thunderclap” that will automatically tweet a supportive message to McCrory on Friday. Lawmakers, the invitation said, “are receiving a barrage of phone calls and emails in opposition to their vote on HB2 and common sense. Our state leaders need to hear from us too.”
By Wednesday afternoon, 124 people had signed up to join the Thunderclap.