Statement on Anti-Equal Rights Legislation & Event Locations

Originally published January 30, 2024; Updated on May 9, 2024

We were saddened to see another state’s legislators pass an anti-equal rights bill yesterday in Utah. We have been monitoring this situation in relation to our upcoming KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America conference. We understand the concerns it raises, especially within our diverse and inclusive community.

We want to assure our community members that our commitment to equality and the safety of all attendees remains unwavering. While the discriminatory intent is shameful, nothing in the proposed legislation will impact our ability to provide a welcoming, safe, and inclusive experience at the conference.

It is a difficult time in the fight for human rights. In 2023 alone, over 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced in U.S. state legislatures. The ACLU is currently tracking 387 anti-LGBTQ bills across 37 U.S. states.

We recognize the challenge of hosting events in states where legislation may not align with our values. However, the Linux Foundation’s decision to hold an event in a particular location is made years in advance, before any future proposed legislation is known, and is not easily altered.

More importantly, we are mindful that we have community members in these states, including those from diverse backgrounds, who benefit greatly from having these events held near them, reducing participation costs, and we don’t want to remove that opportunity from them.

In response to this particular situation with Utah, our focus for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2024 will be on ensuring that the event is welcoming and inclusive of all attendees, and we will be supporting local organizations actively fighting against such injustices. We will share specific details soon.

We are dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming environment for everyone at our events. When we evaluate locations for conferences, we endeavor to choose locations that make our events accessible to our diverse global community, and during the selection process we do consider local laws that are in effect at the time the location is chosen. However, laws can change after we have already committed to a venue and signed dozens of legally binding contracts with the venue, hotels, and vendors that cannot be canceled. Thus, it is possible that we will find ourselves in a similar situation in the future. Please know that our commitment in these cases will always be to ensure safety and inclusiveness at our events, and support of the local organizations fighting for equal human rights.

We appreciate your understanding and support as we navigate these challenging situations.