Small Businesses Are Standing Up Against LGBTQ Discrimination — Now More Than Ever

Danny de Zayas and his wife Nina have run their photography company for many years now. They’ve photographed weddings, bar mitzvahs, and everything in between. Both Danny and Nina know that their main responsibility is to provide the best service possible for their customers, which is why they would never turn anyone away because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“What’s called for in our line of work is respect,” Danny says. “You don’t get to pick and choose which members of the public you serve.”

This year, May 5-11 marks Small Business Week, highlighting the important contributions of these businesses across the country. Small business owners are the backbone of our economy, and their support goes a long way in helping make the case for federal LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. Numbers from a Small Business Majority study show that among all small businesses:

  • 68 percent believe federal nondiscrimination protections are necessary
  • 65 percent believe LGBTQ people shouldn’t be turned away because of an owner’s religious beliefs
  • 59 percent believe allowing faith-based discrimination hurts the bottom line

Cece Garrett, an LGBTQ ally, is a perfect example of this belief. She runs an Etsy shop from her home in rural Mississippi, and features many items that show her support for the LGBTQ community. She is strong in her Christian faith, and feels her religious values compel her to love and accept all people.

“Love is the law…it’s how I live personally and how I live as a businessperson and entrepreneur. There’s no price point for that.”

This Small Business Week, we are glad to see Danny, Nina, Cece, and so many others standing up for federal LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. These business owners know that being open to the public means being open to all. With their help, we will make federal nondiscrimination protections a reality.

To view our Small Businesses Against LGBTQ Discrimination coalition, click here.

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