salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) has taken a hard line to show its support for gay rights. The CEO of the company, Marc Benioff, showed his seriousness towards the issue by cancelling all the company events to be held in the state of Indiana. The announcement came after the state governor signed a new bill, which allows individuals use religious arguments to sue gay or lesbian or even transgender couples. Furthermore, Benioff stated that slowly economic sanctions from the company would follow if the law is not removed.
It is to be kept in mind that Salesforce employs between 2,000-3,000 people in the state, mostly in its email marketing company ExactTarget. If Benioff stays stern and moves forward, with the sanctions, it could mean large scale unemployment in the state. Not to mention, the state would lose a significant part of its income. Additionally, large-scale events, which meant substantial income for the state, have been planned to be held in the already thriving city of New York instead.
Governor, Mike Pence, replied to these sanctions by saying that the intent of the bill is to provide companies, such as Salesforce itself, with legal protection if they decide not to perform business transactions with same-sex couples. salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) is adamant on its decision, and counter argues that the company cannot ask employees or customers to work in a state where they are exposed to widespread discrimination.
Not only did Salesforce make such an impacting decision, it also asked other tech CEOs to follow Benioff’s lead. Benioff also pointed out that even though the governor wants to bring the tech industry to Indiana, as part of his agenda, but what the governor is forgetting is that a great part of the tech industry is gay. What the governor needs to understand is that he is legalizing discrimination against a large part of workers of an industry, which is one of the most profitable one in the whole country.