Group discourages Amazon from building in Atlanta, says city isn't LGBT-friendly

If Amazon needs some help picking a city for its second headquarters, there's a group offering its advice, and it's g...

Posted: Feb. 4, 2018 11:59 AM
Updated: Feb. 4, 2018 11:59 AM

If Amazon needs some help picking a city for its second headquarters, there's a group offering its advice, and it's giving the thumbs-down to Atlanta and eight other cities.

Atlanta is on Amazon's top list for its second headquarters, but one group, which checked for LGBT-friendly policies, is telling Amazon to say no to nine finalists -- including Atlanta -- which do not have LGBT-friendly policies, according to USA Today and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

"There are a group of activists from the LGBT community that have begun to put pressure on Amazon to look at their values as a company, one of which is inclusion and protection of the LGBT community," said Jeff Graham with Georgia Equality.

Even though Graham advocates for gay rights as the executive director of Georgia Equality, he disagrees with the group. He wants Amazon to choose Georgia because he says Atlanta itself is gay-friendly.

"The city of Atlanta addressed this very issue by establishing a strong human rights ordinance close to 20 years ago," says Graham.

Conservative Republican Gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Michael Williams is just fine with the group discouraging Amazon for choosing Georgia, but for him, it's for business reasons.

"I can't say I disagree with them," said Williams. "I think Amazon can kind of move along and find some other place because the deal they have right now will not benefit Georgians. I'd love for Amazon to come, but let's have a deal that's going to benefit Georgians."

Still, Williams does not favor extra protections in the state for the LGBT community.

"I don't believe that someone's ability to exercise their freedoms is anti-LGBT," said Williams. "I don't buy that."

When checking Amazon's original request for proposals, the company said it was requiring a "compatible cultural and community environment for its long-term success."

So whether Atlanta, or Georgia in general, meets that is up for interpretation.

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