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America’s great promise is that anyone can go as far and achieve as much as his or her hard work and talents will allow. For that promise to hold true, we need a level playing field and equal opportunity for all Americans – regardless of who they are, or where they come from. That’s why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is proud to support the Equality Act. We urge Congress to pass this legislation and the president to sign it into law.
There should be no room for discrimination of any kind in the workplace or the marketplace. Instead, individuals and businesses must be rewarded based on their ideas, ingenuity, and productivity. This empowers entrepreneurs to innovate, workers to succeed, communities to prosper—and our larger economy to grow and thrive.
Since 1964, the federal Civil Rights Act has protected Americans against discrimination in the workplace and in public accommodations on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It is past time to add sexual orientation and gender identity to that list. No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love.
While the majority of Americans go to work and shop at places free from prejudice or bigotry, discrimination is still a reality for many people in the LGBT community. This fact is highlighted by cases the Supreme Court will soon consider regarding employment discrimination against gay and transgendered individuals.
Eliminating discrimination is first and foremost the right thing to do. But it also happens to be the smart thing for business. New research by the U.S. Chamber Foundation shows that LGBT inclusive workplaces are more productive, perform better financially, and maintain greater employee satisfaction. The same is true of a country—our nation will be stronger, more productive, and more prosperous if all of our people are empowered to contribute their energy and talent to our economy and society. And that’s why the law should also be LGBT inclusive.
The Chamber proudly practices inclusiveness in our own diverse team of 500 people. Our member companies have fostered workplaces free from discrimination for years. And today—in partnership with hundreds of associations, chambers, and businesses large and small—we call on our nation’s leaders to enact the Equality Act.