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Chicago Mayor Asks Corporations to Leave N.C. for Windy City

Chicago Mayor Asks Corporations to Leave N.C. for Windy City

Rahm Emanuel
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Emanuel hopes to convince businesses to relocate from North Carolina after legislators passed a sweeping anti-LGBT law there.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hopes that businesses and convention organizers put off by North Carolina's new anti-LGBT law will find the Windy City their kind of town.

"Emanuel said he has already been on the phone and has asked his staff to draw up a list of North Carolina companies they think 'we can talk into considering a move to Chicago,'" the Associated Press reports. Both Chicago and the state of Illinois have laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Emanuel said Whole Foods' recent decision to relocate a distribution center from Indiana to Chicago was due in part to concerns about the so-called religious freedom law Indiana enacted last year, which critics said would allow discrimination against LGBT people, at least in its original form -- the Indiana law was amended to allay fears about discrimination. Chicago offered Whole Foods a subsidy as well.

Emanuel also announced that he, like the mayors of several other large cities, will ban the use of city funds for nonessential travel to North Carolina because of the new law, which revokes LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances throughout the state and prevents cities from adopting new ones, the AP reports. Several City Council members signed a letter this week urging him to do so.

"It's the only way we can affect antediluvian attitudes like this, hitting them where it really hurts ... in the pocket," Alderman Ed Burke told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We would urge the Chicago Chamber of Commerce to follow suit."

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