Gay Facebook Founder and NC Native Chris Hughes Speaks Out, Donates Against Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

Late on Friday, Facebook founder Chris Hughes stepped up action against North Carolina GOP efforts to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage in the state constitution.

Hughes September 9, 2011

An Open Letter to the North Carolina General Assembly:

I’m writing today to express my deep concern and fervent opposition to the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment, SB106/HB777.

As the co-founder of Facebook, I have some experience with the challenges of attracting the kind of driven, dynamic and diverse employees it takes to build a fledgling start-up into a full- fledged economic success story.

Companies like Facebook, Google and Apple are the future of our global economy. But the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment signals to these and other major employers, as well as their mobile, educated employees, that North Carolina does not welcome the diverse workforce that any state needs to compete in the international marketplace.

In short, this amendment is bad for business, bad for the perception of my home state on the national stage, and a far cry from job-creating legislation that North Carolina lawmakers should be focused on.

But the negative business impact is far from the only harm of this amendment. Growing up in a conservative atmosphere in Hickory, North Carolina, I felt first-hand the stigma of being different in a Southern state—a feeling that made it clear to me that I was not welcome in North Carolina.

The proposed discriminatory legislation will only perpetuate this stigma for a new generation of creative, talented youth, uninterested in second-class citizenship in a state they call home. Gay and lesbian North Carolinians work hard, contribute to society, and want to protect their families like everyone else. Their families deserve the same respect and the same treatment as everyone else, and they should not be exposed to the derogatory and harmful anti-gay rhetoric that inevitability accompanies these kinds of campaigns. North Carolina deserves better than that.

The next Facebook or Apple or Google could be created by another North Carolinian. Be mindful of how you treat them and their families.

Chris Hughes Co-founder of Facebook and North Carolina native

Hughes also made this pledge:

Because there could not be a more critical time to support the work of Equality NC, my fiancé, Sean Eldridge, and I have pledged to donate $10 for each person who likes Equality NC’s page on Facebook – up to $10,000 – to support the work of the organization between now and Tuesday. We hope that others will join us and contribute what they can of their time, energy, and resources to help defeat this anti-gay measure.

It appears that goal has been reached.


  1. David in Houston says

    He’s the co-founder of Facebook, and he’s only putting up $10,000 to fight this anti-gay amendment? I’m assuming that as co-founder he makes slightly more than minimum wage, right? NOM has spent millions of dollars making sure that gay people don’t have civil rights. $10,000 is a drop in the bucket by comparison.

  2. matt says

    HRC made a $10,000 contribution to Equality NC earlier this year. I wonder if this is a magic number of sorts for NC…

  3. Frank says

    Just having written the letter to them was enough for me. To blast the guy for how much he is donating to this cause is just sad. At least just a Thank You to the guy for stepping up would be nice. But for some of you, your anger and bitterness would never make any amount enough. Sad…

  4. Steve says

    10 grand is 10 grand and he should be thanked for that. But that doesn’t mean we have to blind ourselves to how meager his contribution is.

    Hughes owns 1% of Facebook. According to Goldman Sachs, FB is worth $50 billion. But let’s assume that it is only worth 1/2 that. That still means that Hughes is worth a quarter of a billion dollars. In that context, a contribution of $10 grand is pitiful, especially when you consider that he is from North Carolina and knows exactly the kind of pain that this amendment will cause.

    It is 1/250th of 1 percent. Put another way, if your net worth is $100,000 and you donate $4, you are being proportionately as “generous” as Hughes. But I doubt that you would get fawning press coverage for your 4 singles.