Statement by Justin G. Nelson and Chance Mitchell
Washington, D.C. (06/26/13) – On behalf of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), we celebrate an emotional, thrilling, and historic day with the estimated 1.4 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) business owners in this country. Now that the Supreme Court of the United States has struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional and dismissed the case against Proposition 8, these American business owners can finally, formally include their families in their businesses.
While we celebrate this important step, further work still needs to be done in proper implementation of federal benefits for same-sex couples that are already married or are planning to get married. NGLCC urges federal and state governments to work together to fully grant all legal benefits to married same-sex couples.
When the DOMA was signed into law in 1996, the legislation limited the ability of an estimated 16 million Americans to organize and protect their families, but also an important subset of LGBT-owned businesses faced the daunting tasks of both protecting the legacy enterprises they built and passing on their generational wealth. This decision will not only encourage LGBT entrepreneurs to take the plunge and start businesses, but also increase employee engagement and encourage fully inclusive workplaces across this nation.
DOMA created two categories of employees, which is an economic strain on both the employer and the employee. The regulatory and tax benefits are different, and this means additional costs for employers of all sizes—and it can give any small business employer pause in creating a productive workplace. Overturning DOMA will not fix these inequities overnight, but it is a monumental step in the right direction.
Just as we are helping our small business and corporate stakeholders navigate the implementation and enrollment periods of the Affordable Care Act, NGLCC will work with LGBT-owned businesses, our more than 140 corporate partners, and 38 local affiliate chambers of commerce to understand the implications of these decisions and the impact on their businesses. Changing the law is a landmark victory for all LGBT people, but implementation will be a journey for business owners.
CONTACT: Laura Berry, Communications Director, at 1-202-234-9181 or [email protected]
About the NGLCC
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the only national not-for-profit advocacy organization dedicated to expanding the economic opportunities and advancements of LGBT business community. With more than 29,000 members, 140 corporate partners, and 52 local, state, and international affiliate chambers, NGLCC is the largest LGBT business development and economic advocacy organization in the world.