Will Continue Asserting American Businesses Must Not Use Religion Against the LGBT Community
Washington, DC – June 4, 2018 – The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, is deeply disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to pave a path toward the stripping of rights of LGBT Americans in the wake of its decision on the Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case. Despite the court’s narrow decision focused on the specifics of the Colorado law, NGLCC continues to assert that religious or personal convictions are not a valid reason to deny services or benefits to the LGBT community anywhere. The Court’s decision did affirm the importance of nondiscrimination laws and the need to protect LGBT people from discrimination, but leave the ultimate questions about LGBT equal protection unanswered.
The Masterpiece Cakeshop proceedings have always been about more than just cake. As the arguments were presented, the Supreme Court weighed the rights of LGBT people to freely access American businesses against the beliefs held by some store owners that their religious convictions preclude their businesses from serving LGBT people. Unfortunately, the Justices did not come down on the side of progress with a decision that could ultimately jeopardize the right of LGBT people and other diverse communities to freely patronize businesses and access public opportunities in their community.
“The success of America’s society and economy depend on us upholding the social contract of mutual accountability and respect, yet the Supreme Court has now given a path toward state-sanctioned license to discriminate in this country. The LGBT community is a vital part of the American economy and deserves equal treatment under the law, and NGLCC will continue to advocate for our community’s right to live their lives free from discrimination in their places of business and in their local communities,” said NGLCC co-founder & President, Justin Nelson
While this decision is undeniably a potential step backward for LGBT rights in the United States, it also threatens a larger framework of protections for other minority groups, including people of color, the differently abled, and women. As a direct result of this decision, civil rights laws across the country may now be reconsidered or potentially nullified if found to be similarly applied against religious intolerance.
“As NGLCC’s work has demonstrated, LGBT inclusion is associated with higher levels of entrepreneurship and is linked to GDP growth, whereas LGBT discrimination goes hand-in-hand with a decline in productivity and success. This decision by the Supreme Court to add additional potential barriers for LGBT Americans who only wish to contribute to the US economy as full and equal citizens will damage the American economy and the economies of the businesses who participate in this discrimination,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and CEO Chance Mitchell.
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global not-for-profit advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses. www.nglcc.org @nglcc
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