Roll-back of Guidelines Guaranteeing Access to Gender-Appropriate Facilities Violates Civil Rights of Transgender Youth
Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez has released the following statement on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors in regard to actions of the Trump administration revoking guidelines protecting transgender students:
“The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes the recent actions taken by President Donald Trump and his administration to overturn guidelines issued in 2016 guaranteeing all students access to gender-segregated facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms in federally funded schools.
“Growing up is hard enough for any child. Transgender children, faced with the added challenge of living in bodies that do not match their gender identities, are particularly vulnerable to bullying, discrimination, depression and suicide. Yet, with support from the institutions and the adults in their lives, we know that these courageous young people can succeed in school and become healthy, productive members of our communities and our workforce.
“No person, adult or child, should be singled out to use a separate facility or forced to seek special permission simply to use a restroom or shower facility where he or she feels safe. Protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender should not be left to the discretion of state officials, just as protection from discrimination based on religious affiliation or ethnicity is not applied on a state-by-state basis.
“As many of America’s largest corporations continue to affirm, prejudice and discrimination against any group of people is harmful for families and bad for economic growth. The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, which represents LGBT business owners and their allies in a six-county region, urges the Trump administration to reconsider its action and to reinstate the 2016 guidelines advising federally funded schools to ensure the safety, dignity and equal rights of all students in using gender-segregated facilities.”
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.
The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce serves a diverse membership of LGBT and allied business owners—those who support the Chamber’s values of diversity, inclusion and equality—from an eight-county region. Many non-LGBT business owners and professionals join the Chamber and attend our events to network and build business relationships with an audience they might not otherwise reach.
Recent advances in equal rights, including legalization of same-sex marriage and legislation and policies that provide new opportunity for LGBT businesses, have strengthened the economic profile of the U.S. LGBT population. According to the latest report from Witeck Communications, the buying power of LGBT Americans rose to $917 billion in 2015, an increase of approximately 3.7 percent over 2014 figures. Economic prosperity translates to family stability, economic development and jobs creation, and political influence. In a nutshell, equality is good for business… and a strong, prosperous business community is good for equality.
Here are a few ways that Chamber members and non-members can support LGBT equality and help us continue to build a diverse and inclusive Sacramento business community:
Support LGBT-owned and allied businesses with your dollar. Looking to buy a gift, send flowers, hire a DJ, book a vacation, or find a new bank? Consider looking first for a LGBT-owned or allied business that can meet your needs. Use our convenient online Member Directory. Pick up a copy of Chamber member Outword Magazine, and see who is advertising there. Or visit MyRainbow Pages, another Chamber member. The businesses you will find there are ether LGBT-owned or those that care about reaching out to and serving the LGBT community.
Join the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce. The majority of the Chamber’s annual budget comes from membership dues. Anyone can become a Chamber member—annual cost of an individual (non-business) membership or non-profit membership is only $100; cost of a business membership, which includes listing in our online member director, free admission to Chamber mixers and events, and much more, starts at just $250 per year.
Support RainbowPAC. Founded in 2012, RainbowPAC is the Chamber’s non-partisan, business-positive political action committee, dedicated to supporting LGBT-friendly candidates, legislation and public policy. Funded entirely by private donations, RainbowPAC was instrumental in the election of Sacramento’s first openly LGBT councilmember, Steve Hansen, and in the passage of state laws that have expanded opportunities for LGBT-owned businesses contracting with the State of California and corporations that do business with the state. Support RainbowPAC by attending our fundraising house parties and events, including our annual Crab Feed.
Get LGBTBE Certified. If your business is at least 51 percent LGBT-owned, you are eligible for certification as an LGBT Business Enterprise through the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Cost of certification is regularly $400, but the fee is waived for Rainbow Chamber members.
Sponsor an LGBT organization or event. Sacramento Rainbow Chamber offers a number of event sponsorship opportunities, ranging from our quarterly Membership Orientations to our annual installation and awards dinner held every September. Sacramento Pride held each June, the Gender Health Center’s annual Gender Bender Ball, Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus, and Sacramento International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival all offer opportunities for table sponsorships, program ads or auction donations—all great ways to spotlight your business and support the LGBT community.
Advertise your own business or event in the LGBT media. The Sacramento area is fortunate to have Outword Magazine, published twice monthly in print, and RainbowPages, which produces a yearly printed directory of LGBT-owned and allied businesses as well as an online directory.
Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez, on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors, expressed gratitude that California voters supported Proposition 55 endorsed by the Chamber’s non-partisan political action committee, RainbowPAC, and Chamber members.
“RainbowPAC and Chamber members endorsed California Proposition 55 because it reflected our members’ view that the economic prosperity of our state depends on adequate funding for schools and hospitals and a robust social-service safety net,” Hernandez said. “We are gratified that California voters supported our choice.
“We also extend our congratulations to our successful local candidate endorsees: State Senate District 3 incumbent Cathleen Galgiani; Assembly District 7 incumbent Kevin McCarty; Assembly District 8 incumbent Ken Cooley; Rancho Cordova City Council incumbent Donald Terry; SMUD Director Ward 1 candidate Brandon Rose; Roseville City School District incumbent Gary Miller; Washington Unified School District (West Sacramento) incumbent Cody Pizzotti and candidate Jackie Wong; and Solano Community College District Trustee Area 5 Quinten Voyce.
“In addition to these successful candidates, Chamber and RainbowPAC members endorsed Sacramento Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg and Sacramento City Councilmembers Steve Hansen, Eric Guerra, Larry Carr and Allen Warren in the primary election,” Hernandez said.
“We look forward to working with these newly elected and veteran leaders on creating an economically prosperous, diverse and inclusive community.”
Following is a statement on behalf of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce from Chamber President Paul Weubbe:
The members of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce extend our condolences and prayers to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, their families and loved ones, and the people of Orlando.
The Chamber’s mission is to support LGBTQ business owners and allies with resources to help them succeed and prosper. With implementation of recent state and federal laws and policies, the LGBT business community is stronger and more successful than ever before.
As an LGBT Chamber, we understand that the LGBT-owned or -accepting restaurant, shop or nightclub in any city or town often becomes a local gathering place, sought out by members of our community as a refuge, a place where they can feel safe and comfortable in expressing themselves without fear of judgment or harassment. For that reason, an attack on one of these businesses is particularly heart-wrenching.
In the face of our sadness over the senseless Orlando attack, we urge everyone to respond, not by hiding in fear, but by celebrating “Pride Over Prejudice,” as we come together to end bigotry and hatred. We urge everyone to support our local LGBT-owned businesses and the many businesses and organizations that visibly support our LGBT community by contributing to our causes, sponsoring our organizations and participating in our public events.
The best way to refute the hate demonstrated in the Orlando shooting is to continue to succeed and prosper. The best result that can come from this tragic act is that we emerge better as people, stronger as a community, and more open and accepting as a nation.