Leading evangelist Franklin Graham has labeled PayPal "hypocrite of the year" after the organization announced Tuesday that it is aborting its plan to open an operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina, because of an objection to the state's recently passed transgender law.
The California-based organization, which serves as a popular online payment alternative, announced two weeks ago that it was going to expand to Charlotte with a new operations facility that would have employed about 400 skilled workers.
But after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation into law that prohibits the city of Charlotte and other local governments from enacting ordinances that force places of public accommodation to open restrooms to members of the opposite biological sex, the leaders at PayPal decided to take a political stance by abandoning their plans to move to the state.
"The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal's mission and culture," PayPal CEO Dan Schulman argued in a statement. "As a result, PayPal will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte."
Although Schulman stated that the company regrets not being able to expand to Charlotte, he asserted that the "decision was a clear and unambiguous one."
On Wednesday morning, Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and a North Carolina native, took to Facebook to point out the hypocrisy behind PayPal's decision.
"PayPal gets the hypocrite of the year award!" Graham expounded in his post. "Congressman Robert Pittenger made a great point yesterday: 'PayPal does business in 25 countries where homosexual behavior is illegal, including five countries where the penalty is death, yet they object to the North Carolina legislature overturning a misguided ordinance about letting men in to [sic] the women's bathroom? Perhaps PayPal would like to try and clarify this seemingly very hypocritical position.'"
Graham also pointed out that PayPal announced in March that it would explore business opportunities in the Communist nation of Cuba, where homosexuals and transgenders are tortured, jailed and executed.
"PayPal only agreed to come to Charlotte in the first place after holding out for millions in corporate incentives," Graham stated. "And under the current law that they are so strongly protesting, PayPal could have chosen their own corporate bathroom policies."
North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest defended the state's law on Tuesday in a statement. Forest said the state will not be coerced into changing a law that protects women and children from being assaulted by those who wish to use a transgender ordinance to their perverted advantages.
"If our action in keeping men out of women's bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it. North Carolina will never put a price tag on the value of our children," Forest stressed. "They are precious and priceless. If a corporation wanting to do business in North Carolina does not see the worth of our children in the same light, then I wish them well as they do business somewhere else."
Graham praised Forest for defending the law.
"He couldn't be more right! We need more politicians across the country with this kind of backbone," Graham wrote. "Pray for the N.C. governor, lieutenant governor, and legislators that they stand strong against the attacks of this wicked agenda."
The North Carolina Values Coalition, a socially conservative advocacy organization, also took to Facebook to issue a statement. The organization accused PayPal of standing on the side of convicted sex offenders.
"PayPal's move shows their discrimination and lack of concern for the safety and privacy of women and children," the statement reads. "Today, PayPal sided with Chad Sevearance Turner, the Charlotte resident who was convicted for sexual assault of young boys, instead of the 69 percent of North Carolinians who support the safety and privacy of the women and children of Charlotte."