The CEO and president of Uphold, a South Carolina based financial services corporation, has announced he will relocate its headquarters out of Charleston in response to controversial legislation banning municipalities from setting their own bathroom policies.
Anthony Watson says he has “watched in shock and dismay as legislation has been abruptly proposed or enacted in several states across the union seeking to invalidate the basic protections and rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) U.S. citizens.”
The openly gay British CEO has decided to take the financial services company, which has handled $830 million in transactions since 2014, to Los Angeles, California.
“In recent days, we have been made aware that South Carolina Sen. Lee Bright has introduced a bill largely mirroring North Carolina’s controversial law that blocks local governments from passing LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinances,” wrote Watson on the company’s website. “As such, we feel compelled to take action to oppose the discrimination being proposed in South Carolina and protect our LGBT employees.”
He went on to say that the company will stand firm in “our commitment to fairness, equality and inclusion and our strong conviction that we can make a difference by living our core values.”
South Carolina governor Nikki Haley says that the bill is unnecessary because a 1999 law passed “covers” the whole bathroom issue.