US: IBM has 'strong opposition' to Louisiana religious freedom bill

IBM voiced its "strong opposition" to Louisiana's religious freedom bill (HB 707) backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, a week after the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau also asked that the bill be dropped over fears that it would tarnish the state's open and accepting image.

"We are deeply concerned by reports that you intend to support this legislation. IBM has made significant investments in Louisiana including most recently a technology services delivery center in Baton Rouge, creating new jobs for Louisiana workers," wrote James Driesse, IBM senior state executive. "A bill that legally protects discrimination based on same-sex marriage status will create a hostile environment for our current and prospective employees, and is antithetical to our company’s values."

IBM's prominent, 800-job facility in downtown Baton Rouge is being built only few blocks away from where the legislation will be debated. The company is expected to bring 400 jobs to Monroe in the northern part of the state.  Read More