Across the country, opposition is mounting to recent "religious freedom" measures that critics worry could lead to discrimination against LGBT individuals.
Gap and Levi's issued a joint statement on Monday denouncing a new Indiana law, which could protect business owners who refuse service to LGBT customers, and a similar bill approved by the Arkansas Senate.
“As Indiana, Arkansas, and states around the country enact and consider legislation that perpetuates discrimination, we’re urging State Legislatures to stand up for equality by repealing and voting against these discriminatory laws,” Gap CEO Art Peck and Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh said in the statement. “These new laws and legislation, that allow people and businesses to deny service to people based on their sexual orientation, turn back the clock on equality and foster a culture of intolerance.”
The move from the clothing retailers follows in the steps of other major companies, including Apple, Walmart and Yelp, which have voiced criticism of the new measures. Additionally, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff pulled the plug on his company’s events in Indiana shortly after the law was passed last week.
Levi's was a leader more than two decades ago in offering benefits to employees’ domestic partners. In 2007, a Levi’s ad featuring a gay couple aired on Logo, MTV’s gay cable network.
And in 2012, a new campaign from Gap starred Tony-nominated actor and gay activist Rory O’Malley and his partner, Gerold Schroeder, along with the tagline “Be One.”
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