NGLCC Stands Against Tennessee & Florida Bills Designed to Harm LGBT Protections & Economic Opportunities

 

January 30, 2020

Washington, DC -- The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, condemns recently introduced legislation in both the Tennessee and Florida legislatures which would, among other dangerous effects, prohibit local governments from adopting nondiscrimination protections and healthcare policies that protect our communities’ businesses and families.  We are particularly dismayed by “preemption” legislation that would undo the groundbreaking policies enacted in Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Tampa; and other major cities in the region to include NGLCC Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® companies (LGBTBE® companies) in municipal economic development programs and public sector contracts.

The passage of these bills would create an open invitation to publicly discriminate against tax-paying, law-abiding LGBT Floridians, Tennesseeans, and members of other diverse communities that are not adequately represented in statewide lawmaking. 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. 

“It's morally unacceptable that hardworking, tax-paying LGBT Americans should be denied basic civil rights to grow their families, protect their healthcare, and support their communities through strong businesses. LGBT Americans will have to be even more cautious of where they spend their $917 billion on goods and services, including tourism and investment in states like Florida and Tennessee.  Couple that with the billions of dollars lost from corporate hiring and expansion rollbacks, the cancellation of major sporting events and conferences, and the impact on the state economy from LGBT citizens fleeing the state for the relative safety of those who intentionally protect diverse communities, and we could see economic impacts that set states like Florida and Tennessee back decades.  Legislators in these states, or in any other that would seek to single out and vilify LGBT Americans should take note of the disastrous impacts similar bills had in North Carolina, Indiana, and Texas-- and be warned that the NGLCC and our partners are watching closely,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson.

The NGLCC is bringing its 2021 International and Business Conference, the largest LGBT business event on the planet, back to Fort Lauderdale because of the pro-LGBT climate of the region. Considering conferences like ours leave a multimillion-dollar economic footprint behind, as we proved once again with our 2019 Conference in Tampa, Florida; lawmakers should reconsider the dangerous fiscal impact that anti-LGBT legislation would have on the economy.  That goes for all other cities and states seeking to welcome the massive impact of the NGLCC Conference and those hosted by our 250+ corporate partners and organizational allies.

“NGLCC will never stop asserting pressure in partnership with our Fortune 500 allies and the estimated 1.4 million businesses iin this nation that are owned by LGBT people to defeat any law that sanctions discrimination,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell. “These shameful laws erode our vibrant and inclusive economy as they force LGBT citizens to look over their shoulder in fear, rather than ahead in hopes for a better future. We call on all legislators nationwide considering such bills, to remember that their economy succeeds only when there is a fully engaged and protected citizenry, workforce and supply chain, free from fear and discrimination.”

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to galvanizing the business community to stop legalized discrimination from becoming the status quo. NGLCC works closely with its local affiliate LGBT chambers, including The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce in Tennessee, along with the Pride Chamber of Orlando, Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Florida Harmony Chamber of Commerce, Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce in Florida, as well as hundreds of hardworking LGBT entrepreneurs and allied corporations to create equal opportunities that create jobs, innovate industries, and raise revenues for the state. These laws threaten the ability of LGBT business owners to do business and create success in Florida, Tennessee, and anywhere else they are introduced.

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NGLCC MEDIA CONTACT:
Jonathan Lovitz
Senior Vice President, NGLCC
[email protected]
954-695-5896

ABOUT NGLCC:
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses, known as Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® companies (LGBTBE® companies). www.nglcc.org @nglcc