National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce & NGLCC Global Urge the Italian Parliament to Pass Civil Unions Legislation Emphasizing Economic Benefits of Inclusion of LGBTI Peoples

January 25, 2016
Washington, D.C. – The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, and its international LGBT business advocacy arm, NGLCC Global, is urging the Italian Parliament to approve the upcoming bill bringing civil unions to lesbian and gay couples in Italy.  As it has done throughout the fight for marriage equality in the United States, NGLCC asserts that ‘equality in good for business’ and essential in bringing one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies into alignment with other progressive nations on the continent.
Over 95% of the world’s consumers and businesses lay outside the borders of the United States, and the American LGBT business community has both a vested economic and humanitarian interest in supporting the recognition of civil unions and marriages for their communities throughout the world.  Economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society. NGLCC Global calls upon leaders in Italy to follow the precedent set by other European nations to support the dignity of their LGBT citizens, allowing their dignity and love to be recognized – and ensuring a climate where their businesses can thrive.
“On the one hand there is a marked shift in Italian views of sexual orientation and gender identity,” noted NGLCC President and Co-Founder Justin Nelson on a recent visit to Italy. “More and more Italians are recognizing that their LGBT compatriots are equal to them in dignity and acknowledge that Italian laws should reflect this. On the other hand, there are those both in and out of the government who continue to block pro-LGBT legislation and pander discredited and inflammatory stereotypes about LGBT people. By empowering the LGBT business community we hope to show those groups opposed to LGBT rights that there are significant economic opportunities linked to non discrimination and a moral obligation to equality.”
In addition to visiting Rome, Milan, Vicenza, and Trieste to discuss the economic benefits of intentional inclusion, Nelson met with tourism officials in Venice to speak about the American LGBT tourism dollars being put at risk as a result of the Mayor’s increasingly hostile statements toward the LGBT community. 
“American LGBT consumers spend over $100 billion annually on travel. Italy is in the top five countries and Venice in the top five of Italy. It’s not a stretch to show how anti LGBT actions can and will significantly reduce revenue potential of LGBT travelers and that of our friends and family that don’t want to spend money in a place where LGBT people are actively discriminated against,” said Nelson.
NGLCC Global is working with LGBT leaders in Italy to create affiliates chambers of commerce throughout the country.  Such chambers allows LGBT entrepreneurs in Italy to build business networks while fostering LGBT-inclusive supply chains throughout the world, all aimed at impacting global LGBT equality through economic advancement. Through a strategic, public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and corporate partners, NGLCC Global extends capacity building and networking opportunities to LGBT entrepreneurs in emerging economies.  
The NGLCC and its global partners fully support the efforts of LGBT activists in Italy working for the recognition of basic dignity for all loving LGBT Italians.  We look forward to bringing the influence and support of the global business community to the table as we fight for a more inclusive and respectful economic and social climate for LGBT citizens worldwide.
About the NGLCC and NGLCC Global:
The National Gay & Lesbian 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.
NGLCC Global™, a division of NGLCC, promotes the growth of small businesses and provides the quickest and most effective path to broad-based economic advancement and empowerment of the global LGBT community. Through a variety of resources, NGLCC Global connects LGBT-owned and -allied companies, multinational corporations, and international affiliate chamber leaders and members. 
Jonathan D. Lovitz
Vice President of External Affairs
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce® (NGLCC)
[email protected] | 1.954.695.5896
Skype: jlovitznglcc
Michael Castellano
Director, NGLCC Global
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce® (NGLCC)
[email protected] |
Skype: mcastellano_nglcc



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