Living east of Seattle as I do, I don’t ordinarily hang out near the Amazon headquarters 17 miles away. Then I was recently deputized to do a freelance story on Amazon’s new cashless grocery store.
The story, which ran 11 days ago in the Washington Post, brought me face-to-face with lines of Amazon employees, the new downtown botanical garden space in huge glass orbs known as the “Amazon spheres” (see my photo with this article) and the company’s search for another city in which to expand.
Many Seattleites are kind of glad that Amazon may have a footprint elsewhere, as its well-paid employees have helped send housing prices soaring 53 percent here in the past four years. At first we all thought Amazon was just looking at cities with lots of available real estate, lots of skilled workers, good tax deals, etc.
But then USA Today came out with a list of supposedly homophobic cities that Amazon should avoid.
Who knew that Amazon’s second headquarters had to be in a blue state? USA Today tells us why:
SAN FRANCISCO — Gay-rights advocates plan a "No Gay? No Way!" campaign Thursday to pressure Amazon to avoid building its second headquarters in a state that does not protect its residents from discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Of the 20 cities on Amazon’s list of finalists, nine are in states with no anti-gay-discrimination laws, according to the campaign. They are Austin; Dallas; Nashville; Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Miami; Raleigh, N.C.; and the Washington suburbs of Northern Virginia.
Let’s see now, what do Austin, Dallas, Nashville, Atlanta and Raleigh have in common?
These are Bible Belt cities.