For Open To All Week, Small Business Owners Speak Out for LGBTQ Equal Treatment

By Shane Stahl • March 14, 2018 • 11:12 am

This week marks “Open to All” Week, a celebration of businesses large and small who have made the pledge to serve all people equally, even in the face of anti-LGBTQ opponents working to create carveouts allowing businesses a “license to discriminate” against LGBTQ people.

Some of the most significant and important work done to change hearts and minds on the issue of nondiscrimination is that done through collaboration with the business community — in particular, with smaller businesses and entrepreneurs. These groups help make the economic case for nondiscrimination, often a key component in moving the conversation forward regarding comprehensive protections, as some of the most effective messengers in the fight for nondiscrimination nationwide.

In recognition of “Open to All” Week, we’re teaming up with Main Street Alliance to share perspectives from small business owners across the country. Take a look!

Most recently, more than 750 small businesses have come together to stand in support of nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. Ahead of the Masterpiece Supreme Court case, Freedom For All Americans encouraged these hundreds of small businesses to sign a pledge condemning discrimination against the LGBTQ community, affirming their opposition to discrimination and their belief that businesses should be open to all.

Additionally, business leaders filed a ”friend-of-the-court brief” on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Masterpiece case. Main Street Alliance, the American Independent Business Alliance, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce submitted the brief, which collectively represented more than 61,000 small businesses across the country. The brief argues that nondiscrimination laws – which enjoy strong support among small business owners – are fundamentally good for business and essential to the communities in which businesses operate. Freedom for All Americans was proud to work with our partners on submitting the unique legal argument.

Business support for LGBTQ inclusion runs high across the country; according to a November 2017 report from the Small Business Majority, 65% of small business owners believe that proprietors should not be able to cite their religious beliefs as a reason to deny goods or services to LGBTQ people. In addition, 68% of small business owners favor a federal law that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

To read a story collection featuring small business owners, and why they support nondiscrimination and inclusion, click here.

Learn more about Small Businesses Against LGBTQ Discrimination here.

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