To Bernhardt, Century Furniture, Currey & Company, Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman, Groovystuff, Hancock and Moore, Highland House, Leathercraft, Lexington Home Brands, Theodore Alexander and Tufenkian:

To our friends in the home furnishings world:

Thank you for your leadership, using your voice and social media channels to speak out against North Carolina’s sweeping and discriminatory House Bill 2 (HB2), instituted by Governor Pat McCrory in an emergency session, crippling the state’s most vulnerable population and disabling legal protections at the local level. HB2 has been incorrectly characterized as “the bathroom bill,” but it’s far more damaging and far more wide-reaching than that shorthanded description, undermining protections not only for the LGBT community, but women and minorities as well.

That legislation came just weeks before the Spring High Point Market, putting many (like yourselves) in a tough situation: millions had already been invested, plans already made, contracts already signed. It was just too soon to do anything about it, even though the millions of dollars High Point Market brings to the state could surely get the Governor’s attention.

But still, you spoke up, and made it clear this was not the kind of climate you wanted to do business in, that this legislation did not reflect you, your businesses or your clientele.

Now, Governor Pat McCrory is riding it out, counting on short memories, misinformation, and our collective fear to let HB2 survive and turn back the clocks on North Carolina’s civil rights protections.

But the climate surrounding LGBT protections hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s clear with recent national events that LGBT hate is still alive and well. On top of that, the North Carolina state legislature has doubled down, refusing to budge and in fact has tightened the language and rhetoric surrounding the bill, and efforts for repeal (which much of the state endorses) are running out of time, as the legislature nears its summer recess.

So now it’s time for more action, and a deeper commitment to the LGBT community of North Carolina.

And now, with time, we have an even bigger opportunity: to stand up, and sit out the fall market, before plans are made, and before the state’s elections in November.

Our industry has REAL CLOUT to make change in the state of North Carolina, and in doing so, send a message to surrounding states where similar (or worse) legislation has passed: that hate and intolerance won’t be tolerated, or written into the by-laws of states where we do business. It’s simply not who we are as an industry. And it’s time to dig deeper.

By signing this petition, we encourage these ten companies—leaders in their fields, but also leaders in ethical practices and with demonstrated and admirable social and human rights records— to step up with an even deeper commitment to the repeal of HB2 and sit out the Fall Market, to help show Governor McCrory the true strength of the home furnishings industry, and to demonstrate once and for all, that we are not this.

And with your commitment to an even more aggressive stance toward HB2 by sitting out the Fall Market, we pledge this to you: that we will support you and your businesses before, during and after this collective act, in your showrooms, on your websites and through your social media channels. We do not want to hurt the companies who have led the charge. Far from it. You will have our support when you give your support to the LGBT population of North Carolina.

It’s time to head to a Higher Point. We encourage you to come with us.

Please take a stand, by sitting this one out.

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