Tech giant Oracle among companies calling for end to ‘discriminatory legislation’

Oracle rendering
Posted at 8:46 AM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 22:18:26-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tech giant Oracle has plans to bring thousands of high-paying jobs to Nashville, but some recently passed laws in the state are not sitting well with the company.

Mayor John Cooper and Metro Council members toured the potential job site on Friday. However, it came as Oracle and 80 other companies just released a statement, saying they're against some of the recent legislation passed, which they say unfairly targets the LGBTQ community.

“We call for public leaders to abandon or oppose efforts to enact this type of discriminatory legislation and ensure fairness for all Americans," the statement read in part. Click here to read the full statement.

The statement also mentions other bills that have to do with access to medical care for the transgender community, as well as public restroom access. The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce has been one of the LGBT advocates fighting against the legislation.

"I think it should be clear that by signing the letter and joining the other businesses that have done so, that Oracle is making it clear that they are opposed to discrimination, and they do not want discrimination to be passed in Tennessee," Joe Wolley, Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce CEO, told NewsChannel 5.

Here in Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee recently signed a bill that says public middle and high school students can only play on a sports team that aligns with their gender at birth. This sparked quite a bit of backlash from activist groups.

Just last week, Oracle announced its plan to invest $1.2 billion into a new hub in Nashville. It's the single-biggest jobs announcement in state history:

  • The Fortune 500 computer technology company wants to build a new $1.2 billion technology hub on the East Bank of the Cumberland River.
  • In approved, the company plans to create 8,500 new jobs in the area by 2031 with an average yearly salary of $110,000.
  • Additionally, over 11,500 ancillary jobs and 10,000 temporary jobs through building, operating and maintaining the proposed campus.

"I hope Governor Lee and the state legislature are listening," Wolley said. "This deal is by no means done and we need to be really careful about closing this deal. Discrimination is bad for business. the businesses that want to invest in Tennessee are the same businesses that oppose the laws that cause devastating harm to LGBT people."

As of now, there’s no word on if this opposition would affect Oracle's plans for Nashville. But a spokesperson for Mayor Cooper says they are pleased to see the company join the community and corporate partners to support LGBTQ rights.

Read more: Oracle submits plans for $1.2B investment into new Nashville hub, creating 8.5K jobs