For further information: Bary Hausrath, 804 482-1649
Michael Boykin, 804 833-7184
Two anti-LGBT bills before the Virginia General Assembly were tabled in sub-committee yesterday. Both bills would have been detrimental to Virginia business, according to the leader of a local small business organization.
“Both bills represented a real threat to LGBT, and LGBT-friendly, business interests,” said Bary Hausrath, president of the Richmond Business Alliance (“RBA”).
HB1414 would have added a so-called conscience clause to all licenses, registrations, and certificates issued by the state to allow discrimination against LGBT people or people who are perceived to be LGBT. For example, an emergency room doctor who refused to treat a patient they believe is gay could keep his or her license to practice medicine even if the patient died as a result of the doctor’s decision.
HB1409 would have prevented new public contracts from containing non-discrimination provisions more expansive than those required by existing state statutes. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s first executive order was to expand non-discrimination policy for state government to include sexual orientation and gender identity. That executive order directed annual reviews of the procurement process to ensure. HB1409 would have prevented this process from resulting in additional non-discrimination provisions in public contracts.
“Both of these bills would have sent the wrong message to LGBT consumers, LBGT-owned businesses, and the many Virginia businesses that appreciate their LGBT employees or sell to LGBT consumers,” Hausrath added.
“While progress on pro-LGBT legislation has been slow, we sincerely thank our members and allies who spoke out against these bills. as well as the delegates’ decision not to turn back the clock on recent gains for LGBT equality,” Hausrath said. “That’s good for Virginia business, now and in the future.”
The Richmond Business Alliance is the local affiliate of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Both organizations work to encourage businesses large and small to engage in practices that treat all people equally, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, promote diversity in the workplace. The two organizations recently hosted a roadshow at Capital One to highlight the LGBTBE designation, which is available only to LGBT-owned and operated businesses. Approximately one-third of the Fortune 500 recognizes the LGBTBE designation in procurement decisions as part of supplier diversity initiatives.
For further information, contact:
Michael L. Boykin, Communications Coordinator, 804 833 7184
Bary Hausrath, President, Richmond Business Alliance, 804 482 1649
NATIONAL GAY & LESBIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Founded in 2002, the NGLCC is the business advocate and direct link between lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) business owners, corporations, and government, representing the interest of more than 1.4 million LGBT businesses and entrepreneurs. The NGLCC is committed to forming a broad-based coalition of LGBT owned and friendly businesses, professionals, and major corporations for the purpose of promoting economic growth and the prosperity of our members.
Richmond Business Alliance
The Richmond Business Alliance is the local affiliate of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and supports businesses and professionals affirming to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The RBA brings together individuals and organizations from across various sectors of the business community to experience unique commercial, educational, networking, and social programming opportunities that increase visibility and promote economic success.