It is 2016.

My governor, Pat McCrory, just signed a bill restricting LGBT rights. My local paper reports two key highlights: local governments cannot open bathrooms for people to use based on their gender identity, and it provides a statewide nondiscrimination law that doesn’t mention protections for LGBT people. Some argue that it can also gut protections for women and minorities, although that’s to be determined.

I run a little consulting firm here in North Carolina. It’s no Salesforce, but it’s not nothing. It’s a good life, and with no children and a solid balance sheet, I contribute more than my fair share of tax dollars to my community. I was thinking about buying a beach house in Topsail, a lovely coastal community that showcases some of the best of what North Carolina has to offer. And although it’s way off in the future, I’ve been planning to retire in this state.

But my dreams are on hold.

It’s an election year in North Carolina. If the Governor is re-elected and these ordinances aren’t struck down in 2017, I will close my business in North Carolina and move elsewhere.

I have no choice. I work in human resources and advise some of the largest HR technology firms. We are in the business of expanding rights and freedoms. We are the first line of defense when someone has been wronged at work. We level the playing field. We try to protect people from corporate abuse and power.

I can’t do business in North Carolina with these laws on the books. And I’m not in the business of going back to the future and telling the people of North Carolina where they can and can’t go to the bathroom. What’s next? Buses? Water fountains?

Thanks but no thanks.

If McCrory is re-elected, my business moves elsewhere. And, based on conversations with other business owners in my network, I’m not the only one.


  1. I thought about you yesterday when I saw he signed and am proud for your stance. I do not understand why the need to make sure people are NOT protected is a priority to so many people. Are members of the LGBT community so threatening that we want to pass fucking laws to NOT give them protection when they — especially Transgender people — are targeted for violence at such a high rate, when they can STILL be fired for their sexual orientation, and when when we have people speaking out (including in NC) that this group of our brothers, sisters, and friends, deserve to be killed just for being born who they are???? This is infuriating and heartbreaking to me.

    • You forgot to mention the homicide rate. Transgender people are murdered at an alarming rate. How is bigotry written into a law against people who are so strongly discriminated against and misunderstood supposed to help anyone. It certainly doesn’t preach tolerance or show an open door to visitors. Shameful!

  2. As a North Carolina resident, I agree with you whole-heatedly. NC can not claim to be an innovative and forward-looking state and attract, growing dynamic companies as long as our Governor and state legislature insist on passing legislation that codify segregation and discrimination.

  3. Laurie thank you for the clear, compelling & courageous response to this insane legislation. I continue to be mindful of Edmund Burke’s famous quote; “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.

  4. I would hate for you to leave but I understand completely it takes a lot of courage to say what you said. It may mean nothing to some but it means a lot to me. Sincerely Frank

  5. Don’t leave. Stay and fight it. We need fair minded people in NC to ban together and stop them from getting away with it. HRC is on their way, and there are rallies developing to visit your state. If they get away with it, other states will start to follow suit. Eventually, there will be no where to go.

    Don’t run. FIGHT!

  6. My wife and I have been seriously considering a move to NC from Georgia. At this juncture it feels like moving from the frying pan into the fire.

    Regardless of politics it just makes sense (as a business owner) to not discriminate against customers – actual or potential! There appear to be a lot of state congresspeople and senators across the country who are simply voting for the highly vocal red-meat crowd.

    I don’t recall discrimination being one of the dearly held (and dearly gained) American Values that I learned about as a youngster in Scotland, and that I relearned as an adult when I chose to become a citizen. It is certainly a shameful part of our (western) past – but I had hoped that we had all grown up, at least a little.

    It’s clear that some folks never got over being snubbed that one time in kindergarten.

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