Marc Benioff, the Chairman and CEO of Salesforce, will be honored by GLAAD at its annual gala in September. Benioff will receive an award for his work to combat various discriminatory state laws against LGBT over this past year, a truly herculean effort.
For example, in Indiana, Benioff fought against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This state law discriminates against LGBT, but Benioff was able to convince Indiana state lawmakers to, at least, soften the language to ensure it did not supersede local ordinances. Unfortunately, the legislation was eventually signed into law by Governor Mike Pence, who we now know as the Republican candidate for Vice President.
Also, in Georgia, Benioff applied significant pressure on Governor Nathan Deal who was considering whether or not to sign a state bill into law that would have allowed businesses to deny employment to LGBT workers based on the employer’s religious belief. Benioff, along with leadership from others including Netflix and the NFL, told Governor Deal that if this bill became law he would move his operations out of Georgia. Fortunately, Governor Deal understood the potential negative impact and decided to veto this horrible legislation.
Further, in North Carolina, Benioff has been supporting PayPal who is threatening to move their company’s operations out of the state over the discriminatory state law.
GLAAD President/CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said: “Marc Benioff is an innovator not just in technology and business, but also in his advocacy to advance acceptance for the LGBT community. He is at the forefront of the corporate movement to stop discriminatory anti-LGBT bills across the country and his commitment to fairness and equality is steadfast.”
Congrats to Marc Benioff for all his work on behalf of LGBT. Please keep fighting the good fight!