For years, business leaders have shared the detrimental business impacts of policies and debates that exclude LGBTQ+ people from full participation in daily life, including negative impacts on workforce, recruitment, productivity, and bottom line. In recent years, these policies have increasingly targeted LGBTQ+ youth, including a variety of attempts to isolate transgender youth and to make schools less safe and inclusive for LGBTQ+ young people. Today we are seeing further expansion into policies that would block mention of LGBTQ+-inclusive families in schools, lead to book banning, and even attack the sexual harassment prevention, safe workplace, and diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings and programs that are essential to corporate operations, ethics, and legal obligations.
These issues remain major concerns for business leaders, who are hearing concerns from employees and recruits about safety and inclusion for themselves and their children in states where such policies are pursued. The cumulative effect of these many attempts to exclude LGBTQ+ people is real, and these business signatories remain impacted by these issues. This letter, originally published in 2020 as a joint letter with Freedom for All Americans, continues to grow as business leaders seek to ensure that their team members feel safe and included everywhere they operate
So far, 335 companies have signed the Business Statement Opposing Anti-LGBTQ+ State Legislation stating their clear opposition to harmful legislation aimed at restricting the access of LGBTQ+ people in society.
If you are interested in having your business join the statement, click here.
The full statement reads:
The companies joining this statement do business, create jobs, and serve customers throughout the United States. Our businesses strongly embrace diversity and inclusion because we want everyone who works for us or does business with us to feel included and welcomed as their true, authentic selves. Fairness, equal treatment, and opportunity are central to our corporate values because we care about our employees and the customers we serve. What’s more, these values also matter to our bottom lines. Inclusive business practices lead to more productive and engaged employees, increased customer satisfaction; and, ultimately, improved competitiveness and financial performance.
We are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ+ individuals - many specifically targeting transgender youth - for exclusion or differential treatment. Laws that would affect access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms, unnecessarily and uncharitably single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage. They seek to put the authority of state government behind discrimination and promote mistreatment of a targeted LGBTQ+ population.
These bills would harm our team members and their families, stripping them of opportunities and making them feel unwelcome and at risk in their own communities. As such, it can be exceedingly difficult for us to recruit the most qualified candidates for jobs in states that pursue such laws, and these measures can place substantial burdens on the families of our employees who already reside in these states. Legislation promoting discrimination directly affects our businesses, whether or not it occurs in the workplace.
As we make complex decisions about where to invest and grow, these issues can influence our decisions. America’s business community has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws have a negative effect on our employees, our customers, our competitiveness, and state and national economies.
As business leaders dedicated to equal treatment, respect, and opportunity for all - as well as to improving the financial and investment climate across the country - we call for public leaders to abandon or oppose efforts to enact this type of discriminatory legislation and ensure fairness for all Americans.