Narrow Supreme Court Wedding Cake Ruling Upholds Nondiscrimination Principles

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled issued its decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, ruling 7-2 in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

As an organization committed to building an inclusive and equal business environment that empowers all communities to prosper and thrive, we are discouraged by a decision that allows any person to be refused service based on whom he or she loves. The unspoken message to LGBT consumers: If you are open and honest about who you are, you may be confronted and turned away. The decision is a small but disheartening step backward on our path to full equality for all.

But, while the Court’s decision is deeply disappointing, its ruling is specific to this case only, based on a concern that members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission may have evidenced an anti-religion bias. The Supreme Court upheld the principle that a public business must serve all members of the public, without discrimination. As Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said, ‘The court reversed the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision based on concerns unique to the case but reaffirmed its longstanding rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people.’

We know other opponents of LGBT equality already are lined up to test that principle before the Supreme Court, and this case is no doubt the first of many to come. In California, the Unruh Civil Rights Act prohibits public businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation, as well as race, gender or religion. But earlier this year, the Kern County Superior Court ruled in favor of a Bakersfield bakery owner who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In the Bakersfield case, the judge said the baker’s First Amendment rights to free speech superseded the state law against discrimination, but only because the baker was being asked to create a product that violated her beliefs. In clarifying his decision, Judge David Lampe wrote:

A retail tire shop may not refuse to sell a tire because the owner does not want to sell tires to same sex couples. There is nothing sacred or expressive about a tire. No artist, having placed their work for public sale, may refuse to sell for an unlawful discriminatory purpose. No baker may place their wares in a public display case, open their shop, and then refuse to sell because of race, religion, gender, or gender identification.

While we expect to see lots more cases challenging the equal rights of LGBT people, we continue to believe, to paraphrase the late Dr. Martin Luther King, that the ‘arc of the moral universe’ still ‘bends toward justice.’ We know others will use this recent Supreme Court decision to attempt to justify different forms of discrimination against LGBT people, at other kinds businesses and public venues, but we also know that equality is good for business and good for communities. The collective spending power of LGBT people worldwide is estimated at $3.7 trillion, approximately $900 billion within the U.S. alone. Communities and economies thrive when all individuals and families are protected equally under the law, and the Chamber remains committed to working toward a future in which fairness and equality prevail.

What can you do?

  • VOTE! Today (June 5, 2018) is Election Day, and your vote is critically important to the future of our region, state and country! Please vote or drop off your ballot today. Check here for information about voting and ballot drop-off locations: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place/

 

  • Report discrimination. If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or other factors, the California Attorney General’s office offers a list of resources and responding agencies.

 

  • Participate with RainbowPAC. Rainbow Chamber’s non-partisan political action committee endorses candidates and supports public policy measures that mirror our business-positive values of diversity, inclusion and equality. Visit here for a list of local candidates endorsed by RainbowPAC in 2018.

 

  • Participate in Sacramento Pride! Presented by the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, Sacramento Pride events are scheduled all weekend, beginning with the annual Pride Awards Friday, June 8, honoring Rainbow Chamber Past President Richard Hernandez. Learn more about the history and achievements of the LGBT civil rights movement and next steps at Pride Activated on Saturday, June 9, at Mango’s in Midtown. Then join Rainbow Chamber at the Sacramento Pride Parade/March and Festival on Sunday, June 10, at Capitol Mall.

We are grateful for all the work our member businesses, professionals and allies do every day to make our region and business community better. Thank you!

 

RainbowPAC Endorses 15 Candidates in 2018 Local Races

RainbowPAC, the non-partisan political action committee of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, endorsed 15 candidates in 2018 state and local races at an endorsement event March 7 at Sierra 2 Center. Candidates in 14 races, or their representatives, spoke to the gathering. Following candidate presentations and audience discussion, Rainbow Chamber members in attendance voted on endorsement, with a 60 percent majority required for endorsement.

U.S. Congress, 4th Congressional District: Jessica Morse

California Attorney General: Dave Jones

California State Assembly, District 6: Jackie Smith

Sacramento County Supervisor, District 2: Patrick Kennedy

Sacramento County Board of Education:
Bina Lefkovitz (Area 1)

Nate Pelczar (Area 2)

Nevada County Sheriff: Shannan Moon

Elk Grove Mayor: Steve Ly

SMUD Board, Ward 4: Rosanna Herber

Sacramento City Council, District 1: Angelique Ashby

Sacramento City Council, District 5: Jay Schenirer

Davis City Council, At Large:
Gloria Partida

Mark P.E. West

San Juan School Board, At Large: Zima Creason

Twin Rivers School Board, Area 3: Rebecca Vella Sandoval

In the Sacramento County District Attorney race, neither Anne Marie Schubert nor Noah Phillips received the required 60 percent vote for endorsement.

Visit RainbowPAC on Facebook to see more event photos

WBA LGBT Economic Summit comes to Northern California

WBA LGBT Economic Summit comes to Northern California

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a long-standing member of the Western Business Alliance(WBA), a coalition of LGBT and allied business chambers.  With the WBA and neighboring LGBT Chamber the Golden Gate Business Association, we are honored to be holding the second annual LGBT Economic Summit on March 16, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The summit will address the economic factors and policy agendas that affect LGBT and allied businesses and communities in the western U.S. and Canada.

The full-day summit, including breakout sessions an “Power Lunch” will explore topics such as: needs of millennial LGBT entrepreneurs, LGBT homeless issues/solutions from a regional perspective, creating new LGBT entrepreneurs via ‘disruptive technologies’, removing barriers to Transgender economic development,  accessing capital for LGBT businesses, and expanding LGBT participation in government/business contracting.

Through keynote presentations and panel discussions, attendees will share information, provide critical input to regional challenges, and build relationships with other LGBT and allied business leaders from 20 chambers throughout North America.
The Board of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is actively participating in this event and its planning efforts. We encourage any/all interested parties to join this historic, and meaningful, event. It is sure to spark a new level of momentum in the LGBT economic equality movement.

SUMMIT AGENDA

MARCH 15, 2018 6:00pm—8:00pm: VIP GALA RECEPTION
SAN FRANCISCO CITY HALL ROTUNDA

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2018 8:30am – 5:30pm BREAK-OUT SESSIONS AND POWER LUNCH IV
HYATT REGENCY SAN FRANCISCO

CLOSING RECEPTION
TRANSAMERICA PYRAMID – 44th FLOOR

 $125 Full day (includes Power Lunch, Break-outs and both receptions)
REGISTER HERE

 ABOUT THE WESTERN BUSINESS ALLIANCE

The Western Business Alliance, formed in 1994, is a coalition of LGBT and allied chambers of commerce located in 21 cities and 11 states in the western United States and Canada. WBA chambers are committed to expanding economic opportunities for the LGBT and allied community by promoting equality through business. Through cooperation and sharing best practices, our chambers are integral to the economic health of our region and proudly connect the more than 4000 businesses we represent located throughout the western U.S. and Canada.
THE WBA CHAMBERS INCLUDE:
Sacramento Rainbow Chamber (Sacramento, CA)
Rainbow Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley (Sunnyvale, CA)
Portland Area Business Association (Portland, OR)
LOUD Business of Vancouver BC (Vancouver, BC)
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (Los Angeles, CA)
Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (Long Beach, CA)
Lambda Business Association (Las Vegas, NV)
Inland Northwest Business Alliance (Spokane, WA)
Greater Seattle Business Association (Seattle, WA)
Golden Gate Business Association (San Francisco, CA)
Desert Business Association (Palm Springs, CA)
North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce (Dallas, TX)
Greater San Diego Business Association

ABOUT OUR HOSTS AT THE GOLDEN GATE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

Founded in 1974 as the world’s first LGBT chamber of commerce, the GGBA holds a special place in the history of the ever-changing economic landscape on the local, national and international levels.  GGBA uses its affiliation with many organizations to build recognition for today’s vibrant LGBT business community and to foster the growth of similar organizations throughout the world

DACA Repeal Harmful to Small Business, U.S. Economy

DACA Repeal Harmful to Small Business, U.S. Economy

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez has released the following statement on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors in regard to President Trump’s revocation of the DACA (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals) policy:

“The President’s action to end DACA is directly damaging to the U.S. economy, to workforce readiness, and to the interests of countless small businesses and major corporations alike,” Hernandez said. “With this action, our government has told 800,000 young, educated, law-abiding workers, most of whom know no other home than the United States, that we don’t want them here. These young Dreamers represent a significant investment in our country’s future—an investment in which all of us, as tax-payers, business owners and citizens, have a stake. These Dreamers are the workforce we depend upon to help us build our small businesses. These Dreamers are the same talented young people in which organizations such as our Rainbow Chamber Foundation have invested time, mentoring and scholarship funding. No society, no economy, can afford to discard so callously its best and brightest assets.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose families and futures have been put at risk by the Trump administration’s reckless and inhumane repeal of DACA, and we call upon Congress to act quickly to prevent what surely will be a tremendous loss to our country’s future.”

Rainbow Chamber Denounces Racist Violence and Hate Acts

Rainbow Chamber Denounces Racist Violence and Hate Acts

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez has released the following statement on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors in regard to the recent violence and racist demonstrations that have stricken the Charlottesville, Virginia, community:

“We condemn the hateful and racist demonstrations and the resulting violence and loss of life that have befallen the city of Charlottesville, and we call upon all elected officials who purport to serve our country to join us in unqualified condemnation of any group that espouses hate against others. As an organization serving LGBTQ business owners and professionals, we serve and celebrate individuals of every race, ethnicity, religious heritage, gender identity and country of birth. We stand with our fellow diversity chambers, which have been our long-time partners in the effort to create a diverse, inclusive and prosperous business community. We stand with the majority of Americans, who oppose bigotry and discrimination, and who understand that diversity, inclusion and equality are the path to peace and prosperity for our society. Discrimination and prejudice against any of us are discrimination and prejudice against all of us.”

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is a regional chamber serving LGBT business owners and professionals across the Sacramento Valley, as well as straight allies who support its mission of fostering a prosperous, diverse and inclusive business climate. For more information about the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, visit www.rainbowchamber.com.

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Denounces Trump Ban on Transgender People in Military

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Denounces Trump Ban on Transgender People in Military

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez has released the following statement on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors in regard to President Donald Trump’s action to deny transgender people the right to serve in the U.S. military:

“Today the President of the United States revoked the right of transgender individuals to serve in the U.S. military—a hard-fought right won only a year ago. The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce rebukes the President’s actions in the strongest possible terms and calls upon our fellow Americans to take a stand for the full equality and inclusion of transgender people, and for all human beings, regardless of their sex, gender identity or sexual orientation. All of us are human beings.

“Transgender Americans live, work, volunteer and serve alongside us every day, including a few thousand currently serving in the U.S. military. The President’s action to strip them of the right to serve their country simply because of the way they were born is inhumane and wrong. Which community will be next to lose its equal rights?

“The Rainbow Chamber remains committed to defending the equal rights of our transgender neighbors and friends, and to working with our community and corporate allies to resist the intolerant and discriminatory actions of the current administration toward transgender people.”

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is a regional chamber serving LGBT business owners and professionals across the Sacramento Valley, as well as straight allies who support its mission of fostering a prosperous, diverse and inclusive business climate. For more information about the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, visit www.rainbowchamber.com.