National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Condemns the Shameful State-Sanctioned Discrimination Law Passed in North Carolina

March 24, 2016
Washington, DC – The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the global LGBT community, stands with our corporate partners and local business leaders in condemning the misguided anti-LGBT legislation signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory.  This law, hastily rushed through the North Carolina State Assembly at a significant expense to taxpayers, not only allows for state-sanctioned discrimination in public accommodations, but also further bans Charlotte and any other municipalities from adding protections for LGBT citizens.
“It’s morally unacceptable that hardworking, tax-paying LGBT North Carolinians can continue to be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, or denied service in restaurants and shops simply for being who they are—now with the full support of their elected representatives,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson. “This law doesn’t protect anyone, in fact it increases risk for the most vulnerable.  Every North Carolinian deserves to live and work in a place that values and respects all people. There will be a major impact on the North Carolina economy as both major corporations and small businesses take their businesses to states where all are welcome. NGLCC and its ever-growing network of corporate partners, local chambers and small businesses consistently assert the economic benefits of non-discrimination and aggressively push back against these heinous laws that further marginalize people. We will continue to bring pressure from our Fortune 500 allies and the estimated 1.4 million businesses in this nation that are owned by LGBT people to defeat laws that sanction discrimination. These laws erode our vibrant and inclusive economy.” 
This law will make it very difficult for transgender business owners to attend networking and educational events held at public spaces, which will harm their ability to grow their businesses.  It is widely understood that transgender and gender non-conforming people are already at very high risk of violence and harassment in public places and this law increases the likelihood of violence again transgender people. 
“Our NGLCC stakeholders want to do business in states that value all people and recognize that a fully engaged workforce and supply chain is one where all citizens can bring their whole selves to their business every day free from fear of discrimination,” says NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell. “The non-discrimination and intentional inclusion policies of a state play a tremendous role in our selection process for our high-profile events, including the NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference. NGLCC will not be spending our community’s money in a state that publicly endorses hate and discrimination.”
In 2015, the NGLCC conference brought over 800 business leaders and corporate allies to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and had a multi-million dollar economic impact across all sectors touched by travel and tourism.  The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, with the help of the Destination Marketing Association International, estimated the economic impact of our 2015 conference at $4 million dollars. 
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 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. | @NGLCC
Jonathan Lovitz
Vice President of External Affairs
Access this press release as a PDF here

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