Tech Company 373K Decides to Move From Georgia Due to "Anti-Gay" Bill
By Staff Writer
Mar 18, 2016 06:11 AM EDT
Mar 18, 2016 06:11 AM EDT
Global telecommunications services provider 373K's founder Kelvin Williams is moving his company out of Georgia because of the state's anti-gay bill. Georgia lawmakers have passed a religious freedom bill, allowing anti-gay discrimination.
According to Business Insider, Williams is already in the process of moving the company to Delaware. it's reported that other states without the similar bill will be happy to host the 373K company. When he announced the decision to move, economic development officials all over the country invite Williams to move his business to their states. Williams chose Delaware to host its company after Governor Jack Markell called him and extended a personal welcome.
Williams first stated his intention to move from Georgia on February. It was when the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), Bill 757, passed the Georgia Senate. The bill has also passed the Georgia House on Wednesday night and is now headed to Governor Deal. Many urged the governor to veto the bill, but Williams decided to move instead of wait for a definitive decision from the governor.
"When they passed FADA the first time, we decided to move at that point. Everyone thought it was a threat, but no. We were dead serious," he said.
Williams, who is gay, noted that his decision to move the company is not just because he feels personally unwelcomed. He emphasized his concerns for his employees as well. The final decision to move is a result of company voting. The fact that the votes are in favor on moving proves that his employees feel uncomfortable with the bill as well. As of now, 373K has about 20 employees and is hiring, as reported by Yahoo Finance.
373K is not the first and only company having a serious consideration moving from Georgia over the religious freedom bill. Cloud computing company Salesforce has also threatened to pull global conference from Atlanta, Georgia, over the same concern, as reported by Fortune. The company's CEO, Marc Benioff, asked on his Twitter account whether the company should leave the state if the law passes, and 80 percent votes said yes. Salesforce has employees of over 16,000 staff.
Kelvin Williams announced his company's decision to move from Georgia to Delaware because of the religious freedom bill that would allow anti-gay discrimination. The bill is passing through the process and is now waiting for Governor Deal. The company's decision was reached through a vote involving the 20 employees working for the company.
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