VIDEO: Small Businesses Nationwide Speak Out in Support of LGBTQ Equal Treatment

By Adam Polaski • May 1, 2018 • 12:21 pm

Small business owners are participating in Small Business Week this week and are using the annual event as an opportunity to reiterate their support for keeping small businesses open to all—including customers who are LGBTQ.

More than 1,200 small business owners have signed a pledge for Freedom for All Americans’ program Small Businesses Against LGBTQ Discrimination affirming their support for nondiscrimination—and they’re speaking out at an important moment: The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in the coming weeks. The case involves a bakery that denied service to a same-sex couple simply because they’re gay. The bakery is arguing it should have a constitutional right to violate longstanding Colorado state laws against discrimination.

Watch a video from Small Businesses Against LGBTQ Discrimination about the coalition and the importance of Small Business Week:

The Small Businesses Against LGBTQ Discrimination pledge includes small business owners from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and from industries such as agriculture, construction, and “Mom and Pop” restaurants. The pledge is organized by Freedom for All Americans, and is part of an effort to elevate nationwide support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections in advance of a Masterpiece ruling.

Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, said this week:

“We are encouraged to see so many small business owners promise to keep their doors open to all customers, regardless of who they are or who they love. The momentum building in support of LGBTQ nondiscrimination and equality is unstoppable. Businesses have played a critical part in that momentum. Small business owners in particular are the backbones of their local communities. Their support for nondiscrimination doesn’t just help us secure better policies, it helps build thriving and welcoming  communities for all Americans.”

Freedom for All Americans is also a member of Open to All, the broad, nationwide public engagement campaign to build awareness and understanding about the ways in which our nation’s nondiscrimination laws are under attack—and to defend the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be open to all. In addition to more than 150 organizational supporters from LGBT, racial justice, civil rights, labor, religious and allied movements, the Open to All campaign site also features small business resources—including a downloadable window sign for public-serving businesses that take the Open to All pledge to not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

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