Washington, DC – The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, and our local affiliate chambers, the Richmond Business Alliance and the Hampton Roads Business Outreach are grateful to Governor Terry McAuliffe of the Commonwealth of Virginia for the signing of an Executive Order that will greatly benefit the economic and social wellbeing of the LGBT community. For LGBT citizens in Virginia, these policies provide protections to those working under public contracts, as well as assurances that discrimination will not subvert business opportunities that cultivate innovation, create jobs, and drive economic growth throughout the Commonwealth.
“We applaud Governor McAuliffe for EO 61 and his longstanding support of the LGBT community. His administration’s work will have a dramatically positive economic impact on his state. He clearly agrees with NGLCC that an economy only succeeds when its workforce and supply chains are fully inclusive, free from fear and discrimination,” said NGLCC President & Co-Founder Justin Nelson. “To prohibit discrimination against LGBT business owners in contracting is a bold step, and the next logical step is the intentional inclusion of Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) companies in all statewide contracting and procurement opportunities alongside women, minority, disability and veteran owned businesses. We stand ready to work in partnership with Governor McAuliffe’s administration to implement such an initiative as we have with California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, America’s largest corporations, and across federal agencies.”
Currently over 1/3 of the Fortune 500, along with the Commonwealths of Massachusetts & Pennsylvania, the California Public Utilities Commission, multiple municipalities and federal agencies actively seek and utilize NGLCC Certified LGBTBE® suppliers.
“While other states are damaging their economic prospects and their public opinion through discriminatory “religious freedom” laws, Virginia is setting a precedent that the American Dream should be accessible to all Americans,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell. “As we have seen everywhere pro-LGBT inclusive policies are enacted, we can expect a major increase in job-creating, economy-innovating LGBT businesses to thrive throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. NGLCC is proud to stand with the Commonwealth, today and always.”
Executive Order 61 prohibits Virginia’s contractors, subcontractors, and state employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in their work places. This important order was announced in the same week that a so-called “bathroom bill” was introduced in the Virginia assembly. The Governor recently stated, “I will veto any bill that legalizes discrimination or harms our on-going efforts to bring jobs to Virginia.”
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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. www.nglcc.org | @NGLCC
Senior Vice President
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce