State News

After evaluating HB2, drug maker going ahead with plans for $20M Durham County facility

Posted May 17

House Bill 2

— A drug-maker that spent six weeks deciding whether to scrap plans for a new North Carolina factory after the state passed a law limiting some LBGT protections says it's going ahead.

New Jersey-based Braeburn Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday it will build a $20 million manufacturing and research facility in Durham County. The 50 new jobs paying an average of nearly $76,000 a year were announced just before state officials passed House Bill 2 in March. Braeburn said the law caused it to re-evaluate.

The bill created a state anti-discrimination law that excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The law also requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificates.

"Diversity and nondiscrimination are core to the identity of Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, and we consider our own organization’s diverse make-up to be a competitive advantage," President and Chief Executive Behshad Sheldon said in a statement. "We proudly stand with the growing list of national and local businesses who have spoken out against the injustice of HB2 and in favor of LGBT rights. We seriously considered moving our manufacturing facility to another state to send a clear message about the depth of our commitment. Ultimately, however, we concluded that abandoning Braeburn’s job creation plans in Durham County would unfairly penalize a community that shares Braeburn’s commitment to equality."

The Durham County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce have issued statements calling for the law to be repealed.

The company said it expects legal challenges will overturn the law.

Sheldon said Braeburn officials met with North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, who urged the company to expand in the state to fight for change. Cooper, a Democrat, is running for governor against Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, and McCrory's campaign seized on word of that meeting to suggest that Braeburn's threat of canceling its expansion was merely political posturing.

"Whether they were really ever serious about pulling their investment or not, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals made the right decision not to follow through on their threats while this national issue works its way through the courts," McCrory campaign manager Russell Peck said in a statement. "Roy Cooper and his allies continue to attack our state's economy and reputation for their own political gain."

Cooper's campaign responded by saying he "is doing everything he can to protect our economy against Pat McCrory’s job-killing law."

"Governor McCrory’s recruitment pitch is simply that the courts will soon undo the damage he’s done. This isn't that complicated – the sooner Governor McCrory puts politics aside and works to repeal HB 2, the better off our economy will be," Cooper campaign spokesman Ford Porter said in a statement.


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  • Xander Bogaerts May 17, 9:24 p.m.
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    We should repeal HB2. We don't need a court for that. We are empowered to set state laws, or rather, our representatives do. But they are public servants, so "we" are very much able to repeal HB2. Just need to make sure they are doing the job we voted them in for.

    Again, why hold ourselves to lower standards? If companies do work in other countries with worse humanitarian records, that does not mean we should lower the bar for ourselves. Nor should we accuse them of hypocrisy, especially when we have a plank in our own eye.

    It is hypocritical to claim you are a Christian and not love thy neighbor as thyself. That is not what Christ taught.

    Besides Mark, what internet browser do you use to go online and post your drivel? Internet Explorer, I bet. You seem like an IE kind of guy. Or perhaps Chrome? Safari? Guess what, all owned by companies that support equality, and frown upon discrimination.

  • Demute Sainte May 17, 8:36 p.m.
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    Xander... not enough "we's" to overcome a court. I can do this all day.

    On another note:
    I was told that Google placed the following on its homepage: Proud supporters of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

    Yet, when I pulled up google Saudi Arabia.... nothing. Apparently Google is not "that" proud of a supporter of homophobia and transphobia there. LOL.

    The hypocrisy of big business and the naivety of those that believe corporations actually support a particular cause is astounding.

  • Xander Bogaerts May 17, 7:27 p.m.
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    Mark- you must be so tired from fighting the evil forces of satan. You misread what I wrote, you silly!

    I said "we". "We" is what I said. If "we" have the power to change something, we should.

  • Jarfaris Brown May 17, 6:59 p.m.
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    Despite threats from the NCAAP, they decided to go ahead.

  • Demute Sainte May 17, 4:58 p.m.
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    YOU dont have the power. HB2 will be decided by the courts... not by your opinion, or mine. Or that of big corporations and their ill gotten profits made in countries they "somehow" overlook the treatment of gays in. (Hypocrites)

    Now go enjoy a Coke. I'm certain some jailer in a Middle Eastern country like Saudi Arabia is doing the same... while oppressing a gay/transgendered person.

  • Xander Bogaerts May 17, 4:21 p.m.
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    It doesn't mean we shouldn't right the wrongs in our own backyard, just because others don't. If we have the power to change something, we should.

    HB2 is discrimination, and should be repealed in full.

  • Sam Watson May 17, 4:07 p.m.
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    Like Demute Sainte just stated, the companies you just listed still headquarter themselves in countries that do a lot worse than what's at stake here. Its all about the money and the political agenda.

    It is sad that the LGBT community is being used in this way for a much larger agenda. For the record I'm not defending Left or Right bias venues here as they are all at fault for continuing this talk (you fell into the political trap). There's a lot more going on than what bathroom to use here.

  • Demute Sainte May 17, 3:49 p.m.
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    No doubt Durham is profitable to them.

    That is why Paypal, Coke, Apple, Microsoft and many many more companies continue to do business in countries where gays, lesbians and the transgendered are brutally oppressed, jailed and even killed. Its all about the money folks.... not about the policies.... MONEY. (Sad isnt it)

  • Xander Bogaerts May 17, 2:23 p.m.
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    I'm sure there is business coming into NC that HB2 is not a factor for them: How many though, I've no idea. I do know that 650 jobs lost so far due to HB2 (PayPal and Deutsche).

    It's newsworthy when a business or entertainer decides to cancel their plans because of a hateful, discriminatory bill that was signed into law by our governor.

    Like today, the world-renowned Itzhak Perlman canceled his upcoming concert with NC symphony citing HB2 as the reason. All because of HB2.

    If you are looking for right-wing biased news sources, there are no shortage of those out there.

  • Sam Watson May 17, 2:00 p.m.
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    Ok point there.

    My main point was, I'd be curious to see the outcome if WRAL put in the same amount of effort into looking at ALL businesses that are planning new work here in NC with no opinion on HB2. My point is they find small articles like this (only 50 new jobs with this company) and plaster it on the front page as if it's representative of business as a whole in the State. I have no evidence to support one way or another, BUT if I had to make a guess I'd guess there's plenty of business coming into NC independent of HB2. AKA...This is an Agenda by mainstream media.