Our Statement on North Carolina’s HB2 Bill
By William H. Howle, President of U.S. Retail Banking Group, Citibank & Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance March 31, 2016 06:15 PM
Last week, the North Carolina legislature passed House Bill 2 (HB2) -- a law that eliminates protections again discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in municipal ordinances, and forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms inconsistent with their gender identity. In response, Citi and more than 100 other companies signed a letter sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign voicing our opposition to HB2 and calling on North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to repeal it.
As a global institution, inclusion and equality are core to Citi’s values – and over the years, we have consistently demonstrated our commitment by standing up for the rights and dignity of our employees and clients, our families and friends. In 2013, we were one of the first organizations to sign the amicus brief in support of Edith Windsor in U.S. v. Windsor, the landmark Supreme Court case that led to the overturning of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. And in 2015, we joined the amicus brief supporting marriage equality in the Supreme Court case Obergfell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States.
HB2 in North Carolina is the latest in a number of state-level initiatives designed to weaken or eliminate discrimination protections for LGBT people. As in the recent cases of Georgia and South Dakota, however, we have seen how the unified voice of the business community can make a real difference.
That’s why all of us at Citi are proud to stand with the Human Rights Campaign, Equality North Carolina and our fellow signatories in opposing this bill -- just as we’re proud to stand up for equality on behalf of our customers, clients colleagues and the communities we serve around the world.