RALEIGH, N.C. – Deutsche Bank announced Tuesday that it’s halting plans to add 250 jobs in North Carolina because of a state law limiting protections for lesbians, gays and transgender people — the latest fallout from the business community over the law.
Several more groups have also cancelled conventions or gatherings, depriving the state of hundreds of thousands of dollars in visitor spending.
The German bank with a large U.S. presence adds another loud voice to a chorus of business leaders who have urged the repeal of the law by Republican leaders who promote the state as business-friendly.
Previously, the bank had planned to add the jobs through next year in Cary. But on Tuesday the bank said it was freezing those plans.
Co-executive officer John Cryan said in a news release that “as a result of this legislation we are unwilling to include North Carolina in our US expansion plans for now.”
He said the bank may revisit the plans later. The bank currently employs 900 people at a Cary software development centre, and it said it plans to sustain that existing operation.
The law passed last month overrules LGBT antidiscrimination measures passed by local governments. It also excludes sexual orientation and gender identity from the state’s antidiscrimination policy and prevents people from filing employment discrimination lawsuits in state courts.
Champions of the law have rallied around a provision requiring transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate, saying the law is needed to promote public safety.
But many business leaders and other public figures disagree. PayPal reversed plans to open a 400-employee operation centre in Charlotte, and more than 130 corporate CEOs signed a letter urging the law’s repeal. A number of states and cities have restricted public employee travel to the state.
This week, the law prompted several more groups to cancel planned conventions or gatherings in the state.
Ryan Smith, a spokeswoman for the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, said five groups totalling about 1,000 attendees have already cancelled. She said in an email the cancelled events would have brought $730,000 to the area.
Smith said another 16 groups are considering cancellations of events expected to have an impact of $24 million.
The B Lab, a group organizing a gathering for socially conscious companies, says that it’s relocating the event that was expected to bring 550 attendees to Durham in October. Certified B Corporations are for-profit but meet strict criteria for social and environmental responsibility.
Charlotte tourism officials have previously said that several events were cancelled around that city.
Some major music acts have also responded to the law. Bruce Springsteen cancelled a Greensboro show over the weekend because of it.
Jimmy Buffett, meanwhile, said that he considers the law “stupid” but will proceed with scheduled shows in Raleigh and Charlotte this month. He said future dates would depend on whether the law is repealed.
Buffett wrote on his blog that tickets to his shows sold out long before the law was enacted. “I am not going to let stupidity or bigotry trump fun for my loyal fans this year,” he said.
Supporters of the law sought to strike back against the cascade of negative publicity on Monday with their biggest rally yet, drawing several hundred supporters to hear speakers outside the old Capitol.