Member Statements

AT&T

"AT&T does not tolerate discrimination in any form. We are proud of and rely on our diverse and vibrant workforce that represents the communities we serve. AT&T supports initiatives that seek to bring an end to discriminatory practices."

Dow Chemical Company

"Dow has proudly called the U.S. home for the past 118 years, and on behalf of the more than 25,000 Dow women and men nationwide, we support full inclusion of our LGBT colleagues. We should be focusing on policies that make West Virginia more competitive and economically sound, instead of taking actions that divide us.”

Kevin Kolevar, Dow Chemical Vice President

Embassy Suites

“Embassy Suites, Charleston, WV firmly believes that all people are entitled to equal opportunities in employment as well as in receiving the services that we provide. We solicit groups from all around the region and these days people expect that all their attendees will be safe and have equal rights. West Virginia needs to be welcoming and open for business.”

Mark Cherry, Embassy Suites, Charleston, W.Va.

Marriott

At Marriott, we have worked hard to cultivate an environment where every traveler and employee feels welcome, safe and respected when they enter one of our hotels. This is our formula for success, backed by internal policies preventing discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. We need the legislature’s leadership and state law to support our policies and reflect values of inclusion, or our industry will be at a permanent competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis other jurisdictions.

In the context of this debate, it is also worth noting that estimates from the U.S. Travel Association put domestic travel spending by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community at $51 billion per year in 2013 – roughly 6.8% of all domestic travel spend. West Virginia should not enact laws that directly undercut our ability to capture a share of this travel market, or the business of anyone offended by laws that fail to extend a welcoming message to all of the traveling public by enabling discrimination.”

Romona Jackson, General Manager, Charleston Marriott Town Center

Thomas J. Maloney, Director, Government Affairs, Marriott

Cabell-Huntington Convention & Visitors Bureau

“It is essential for all business, and particularly for tourism, that we are welcoming to individuals of all backgrounds and that we remain free of any discriminatory acts and especially discriminatory laws.”

Tyson Compton, Cabell-Huntington Convention & Visitors Bureau

Generation West Virginia

“Our generation places high value on the importance of diversity and cites a lack of diversity as one of the biggest barriers to innovation in the work place (Deloitte, 2014). Communities and workplace cultures where diversity and openness thrive will more likely attract top talent, especially young, creative, and entrepreneurial candidates. Our ability to present a truly diverse and inclusive state is critical to our success in attracting, developing, and retaining the best and brightest talent.”

Natalie Roper, Executive Director, Generation West Virginia

Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce

“If passed this bill would drive away more of our youth, make sure those that have left do not come home, prevent any major business from investing in West Virginia and force the state to spend millions of tax payer money to try and repair the negative impact this would have on the image of our state. At a time when West Virginia needs to focus more than ever on innovative policies that will help create new jobs and a more resilient economy, it is unfortunate we have to debate this legislation."

Matt Ballard, President and CEO, Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce

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