LGBTQ business leaders endorse Biden for president
Following LGBTQ political leaders’ endorsement of Democratic Party contenders Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, LGBTQ business leaders have followed suit.
In a statement, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) said Biden’s commitment to supporting the Equality Act would empower and protect LGBTQ entrepreneurs and business owners.
LGBTQ business leaders call for further protections
The NGLCC further said that electing Biden would guarantee nondiscrimination protections that ensure equitable access to capital, especially during the post-pandemic economic recovery.
Justin G. Nelson, NGLCC co-founder and president, said that supporting Biden affirms “that we all deserve our shot at the American Dream, and that our economy only succeeds when it is available to all LGBT and allied Americans.”
“We need to elect a president with a commitment to LGBTQ equality, ending racism and racial violence, promoting small businesses and entrepreneurship, and ensuring a safe and equitable society for every American,” he said.
Nelson also told NBC News that LGBTQ-owned businesses across the US consider the “number one issue” is the “access to capital, especially during the pandemic.”
“When you have 35 states that can deny you credit just for being LGBT, that puts our businesses at significant risk of not being able to secure the capital they need to be successful,” he added.
Equality Act to help LGBTQ businesses and communities
Despite the opposition of President Donald Trump, the Equality Act had been passed last year by the House. However, it is stuck in the Senate where it is not up for voting.
Once passed, the law would explicitly amend various nondiscrimination laws to prohibit LGBTQ discrimination in several areas: banking, jury duty, and public accommodations, among others.
Biden has called LGBTQ discrimination as not only immoral but fundamentally bad for business. He has also committed to an economic recovery plan to strengthen small businesses affected by COVID-19
The former vice-president likewise wants to preserve and expand then-President Barack Obama’s LGBTQ equality executive actions to support full federal inclusion of Certified LGBT Business Enterprise suppliers.
The NGLCC unanimously voted to endorse Biden, the second time they had endorsed a candidate for president before. In 2016, they endorsed Hillary Clinton.
LGBTQ business leaders: Biden’s victory is imperative
In their statement, the NGLCC leadership said Biden’s victory is “imperative to the well-being of America’s economy” as well as the gains achieved in recent years for the LGBT community.
Chance Mitchell, the chamber’s co-founder and CEO, said, “The stakes have never been so high for the future of our country and the LGBT business community.”
Given the recent legal victories in LGBTQ workplace protection, Mitchell added the community “has come too far to lose its seat at the table.”
He added that as president, Biden will continue fighting for “America’s 1.4 million LGBT business owners and the more than US$1.7 trillion they add to the US economy despite ongoing discrimination.”
Reggie Greer, LGBTQ+ vote director for the Biden campaign, welcomed this endorsement and said LGBTQ businesses are central to Biden’s plans to build a stronger, more equitable economy.