February 5, 2021
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, in solidarity with the network of Florida-based affiliate chambers of commerce-- The Pride Chamber of Orlando, Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce-- celebrate the announcement that The Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) has announced it will protect LGBTQ Floridians in a major win for equality across the state.
Together we represent thousands of hardworking LGBT entrepreneurs and allied corporations that fight for policies like this that create jobs, innovate industries, and raise revenues for the state while celebrating the dignity of every LGBTQ citizen throughout Florida, and across America. This policy victory reinforces the need for passage of The Equality Act in Congress. That act will ensure federal non-discrimination for LGBT people, promoting equal access to employment, housing, credit, public spaces and services, education, federally funded programs, and beyond, codifying these same protections in Florida across all fifty states.
“As NGLCC and its affiliates have always asserted: being open for business means being open to everyone. The FCHRR clearly agrees and is acting in the best interest of every LGBTQ Floridians with the passage of their statewide resolution applying the Supreme Court’s affirmation that LGBTQ Americans are protected under civil rights law. Florida is a national leader in tourism, research, and entrepreneurship—and this intentional move toward inclusion for all signals that Florida’s best days for its people and its economy are ahead. As cities and states across America who have defended LGBTQ protections have learned: LGBT inclusion is associated with higher levels of entrepreneurship and is linked to GDP growth, whereas LGBT discrimination goes hand-in-hand with a decline in productivity and success. It’s not just the right thing to do for more than 800,000 LGBTQ Floridians, it’s the right thing to do for the economy for the fourth largest economy in the nation,’ said NGLCC President & Co-Founder Justin Nelson
"This is an important milestone in our march towards full-equality. We appreciate and honor the support that our legislative leadership demonstrated to see this important ruling come to fruition. It is important that ALL Americans are treated and protected equally under the law,” said Steve Adkins, President & CEO of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
“Finally, all LGBTQ+ people across the entire state of Florida are protected from discrimination in jobs, public accommodation and housing. I applaud the Florida Commission on Human Relations for this landmark ruling,” said Keith Blackburn, President & CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce
“We applaud the actions of the state of Florida and the FCHR, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact on our community,” said Kellie Parkin, CEO of The Pride Chamber in Orlando. “We also recognize that this could be challenged or changed in the future, and encourage lawmakers to take urgent action to solidify comprehensive LGBTQ rights in permanent legislation,” said Kellie Parkin, Executive Director, The Pride Chamber (formerly MBA Orlando)
“Years of hard work, advocacy, blood, sweat and tears have gone into the fight for equality around the world and it is to the credit of all who have gone before us that we can say today that we are one step closer to our goal of full equality for all here in Florida. Representing 250+ businesses, community groups and individuals that identify as LGBTQ owned or allied across seven counties in the Tampa Bay Region, we can say with certainty that these protections are long overdue and will go a long way towards fighting discrimination in the workplace. It gives our business community and our allies peace of mind that they are protected and again, in a year that has brought our focus to diversity and inclusion, reinforced that these policies only enhance company culture and business outcomes. While there is much work to do, we are excited by the momentum this movement is gaining and we look forward to the passing of the Equality Act in Congress which will further these economic and social goals. As it has been said, “LGBTQ rights are human rights,” said Justice Gennari, President & CEO, Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber
‘When LGBT citizens, workers and entrepreneurs are protected, they are empowered to bring their whole selves to work, which increases productivity and innovation, raises performance levels, and retains top LGBT talent. The patchwork of protections for LGBTQ Floridians in recent years has highlighted the inequities that have kept tax-paying, law-abiding LGBT citizens from achieving success. Our economy simply does not achieve all it can unless everyone is included and given a fair shot. The basic civil protections this decision will bring throughout Florida bring us much closer to the inclusion we need for the American Dream to be accessible to every LGBT American,” said NGLCC CEO & Co-Founder Chance Mitchell.
Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber began over 35 years ago to advance common business interests, economic growth, and equality in the workplace and society for its LGBT and allied businesses, corporations and professional members by providing educational, networking, and community engagement.
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The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses, known as Certified LGBTBEs®. www.nglcc.org @nglcc
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