CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A financial services company which claims to be based in Charleston has announced its moving its headquarters to Los Angeles after a bill similar to North Carolina's controversial law limiting protections for lesbians, gays and transgender people was introduced in South Carolina.
The CEO of Uphold, Anthony Watson, posted on the company's website on Tuesday that he feels compelled to oppose the bill and protect their LGBT employees.
Watson released the following statement:
Uphold is founded on the key pillars of transparency and accountability, and at our very core, we stand for fairness, inclusion and equality. Just as Uphold brings financial services to everyone, everywhere, we've also built a company that brings the principles of fairness, inclusion and equality to everything we do.
As the openly gay, British CEO of an American company, I have watched in shock and dismay as legislation has been abruptly proposed or enacted in several states across the union seeking to invalidate the basic protections and rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) U.S. citizens.
Some of you may be aware that Uphold's U.S. headquarters is based in Charleston, South Carolina. In recent days, we have been made aware that South Carolina Sen. Lee Bright has introduced a bill largely mirroring North Carolina's controversial law that blocks local governments from passing LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinances. As such, we feel compelled to take action to oppose the discrimination being proposed in South Carolina and protect our LGBT employees.
Today, Uphold has taken the difficult decision to move its U.S. corporate Headquarters from Charleston, South Carolina to Los Angeles, California.
We will stand firm in our commitment to fairness, equality and inclusion and our strong conviction that we can make a difference by living our core values. It's the right thing to do for our members, employees, partners and the communities in which we live and work.
While the company's website states Uphold's HQ is based in Charleston a search of business filings with the Secretary of State shows the headquarters is registered to an address in Columbia.