The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce calls on members of Congress to support and pass the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13, 2015— Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) reintroduced the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act,which would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) appreciates their continued leadership on this issue and strongly urges other members of Congress to support this legislation.
As the business voice of the LGBT community, the NGLCC understands how vital access to credit is for a stable and prosperous community. The ability to secure credit is the cornerstone of our free market system. Access to credit is essential for buying a home, going to college, and starting a small business. Credit makes possible the entrepreneurial spirit and drives our economy. Access to credit fosters creativity and innovation in the business sector and encourages vitality and upward mobility at the community level.
The social and economic importance of securing credit, therefore, should be based on credit worthiness, and not on unrelated personal characteristics. As a nation, we have guaranteed this principle in regards to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, and age. Sexual orientation and gender identity must now also be protected from credit discrimination.
The Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act is now more necessary than ever. Over the last few years, our country has seen an incredible shift in the way LGBT Americans are viewed and treated, both by society at large and under the law. As marriage equality becomes a legal reality, more LGBT families will form and need credit to buy homes and send children to college. Likewise, more LGBT business owners are stepping forward and living as out entrepreneurs. As they grow their businesses, they need assurance that credit will be accessible, regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Fourteen states and the District of Colombia currently prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and New York prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. NGLCC applauds these states for their actions, but reaffirms that all Americans deserve access to credit that is based solely on their creditworthiness. No American should be denied credit simply for living or working in the wrong state. The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce fully supports the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act of 2015 and urges all members of Congress to support its passage. It is both good for the LGBT community and good for business.
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