North Carolina is the latest state to face resistance for outlawing anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
Two days after the state's Republican-controlled legislature approved the measure, which was quickly signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory, companies are lining up in opposition. Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL) and the state's professional basketball team are among the businesses objecting to the law.
"Our future as Americans should be focused on inclusion and prosperity, and not discrimination and division," Apple said in a statement. "We were disappointed to see Governor McCrory sign this legislation."
"The Charlotte Hornets and Hornets Sports & Entertainment are opposed to discrimination in any form," the NBA team said Friday in a statement.
The NBA said in a statement that it is "deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect." The league said it did not yet know what the impact would be on its "ability to successfully host" the All-Star Game, which is set to take place in Charlotte in 2017.
The state's action was set in motion by an anti-discrimination ordinance passed in Charlotte in February that would allow transgender people to use public bathrooms that align with their gender identity, instead of their birth gender. The law passed by the North Carolina legislature on Wednesday night not only prevents municipalities from adopting ordinances permitting such bathroom use, but also blocks cities from protecting gays and bisexuals from discrimination more broadly.
The law also bans local governments from raising minimum wages above the state level and did away with anti-discrimination safeguards for veterans.
American Airlines (AAL), which operates a hub in Charlotte and employs 14,000 people in the state, issued a stern rebuke of the law. Other companies that operate in North Carolina followed suit, including Dow Chemical (DOW), PayPal (PYPL), Red Hat (RHT) and Biogen (BIIB).
Conservative groups defended the bill, saying it would insulate women and children from biological males in bathrooms.