GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The founder and CEO of Replacements, Ltd. in McLeansville said he has received letters from two cities outside of North Carolina enticing him to grow his business elsewhere because of HB2.
Bob Page condemns the law and worries it will tarnish the reputation and economy of the state. His company employs about 400 people and Page said about 60 to 80 are LGBT, including himself.
He received letters from leaders in Lorain, Ohio, and Greater Portland, Oregon.
"...the 'International City' will support your business and its employees no matter their personal, private choices," wrote Mayor Chase Ritenauer, Mayor of Lorain. "As Mayor, I will be personally involved in making sure Lorain, Ohio, provides you the full complement of incentives -- financial and otherwise -- to make Lorain your new home."
The letter from Greater Portland Inc said they also "rebuke the destructive, discriminatory decision that North Carolina has made" and points out Oregon's Equality Act passed in 2008 to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. "We respectfully request your consideration of Greater Portland in your future corporate investment plans," it concludes.
Page tells FOX8 he likely would not relocate from North Carolina because the state is home to him. But he's not surprised municipalities are capitalizing on the contentious issue.
Page's public opposition to the law has gotten responses both good and bad. "We have gotten more than 15,000 letters, emails, people walking into the showroom, phone calls, and they've been overwhelmingly positive. But there's been hundreds of customers who say they wouldn't do business with us... We just feel like it's far too important to ignore this and let this bigotry go unaddressed."