1 / 4 Aditya Birla, the founder of Flipkart, the world’s biggest e-commerce marketplace, has said that it is “unfortunate” that “some states in the US are not following our lead”.
Mr Birlas comments come in the wake of a similar call from President Donald Trump in his inaugural address.
In a tweet, Mr Trump said that “states that allow bigotry, hate, or discrimination in any form will be held to account” and that the US “will no longer accept discrimination”.
The president made the comments on Twitter, after a speech in which he vowed to protect the rights of LGBTQ people in the country.
“If a business owner is unwilling to let their employees marry someone of the same sex, or refuses to rent to people of the opposite sex, it will not be allowed to open in their state,” Mr Trump added.
“But if they do so in their home state, they must open elsewhere.”
While the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, a spokesperson told The Hindu: “The President’s executive order is a step forward.
We are actively working with our businesses to ensure that they are allowed to continue to thrive.”
Mr Trump also said that he was “looking into” a bill which would provide for the establishment of “religious exemptions” for businesses that do not allow same-sex marriages, in an effort to allow business owners to continue operating.
The president has made anti-LGBTQ legislation a cornerstone of his administration, with the most recent attempt to pass a religious freedom bill failing last month in the House.
“I’m going to keep looking into whether that bill should be introduced and I’m looking at what it could mean for business,” Mr Trumps spokesperson said.
While the bill was rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate, its supporters hope that Mr Trump’s recent executive order will lead to a push to pass similar legislation.
“The president was absolutely right that states shouldn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and if they were, I don’t think it would be legal,” said Dr Suresh Prabhu, co-founder and CEO of The Bisexual and Transgender Advocacy Project (BTCAP).
“But the US Congress should be focusing on ensuring that businesses can continue to operate in these states, not on discriminating against those who live in these same states.”
Read more:India-US ties worsen after Trump calls out US, India for ‘discrimination’The US is not the only country with a strong anti-discrimination policy in place.
India, which is home to a significant number of LGBTQI communities, recently became the first country to recognise same-gender marriage in the state of Maharashtra.
“It’s not just a legal issue, it’s also an economic issue,” said Pratibha Sharma, CEO of BTCAP.
“Maharashtra is a state with a high proportion of LGBTQIQ people and a lot of people don’t know that they can legally marry the person they love.”
Ms Sharma said the country is in a unique position to take the lead on the issue.
“There’s no question that in many of the US states where this issue is still very strong, like Arkansas, we can also take a lead in terms of getting legislation passed,” she said.