Rainbow Chamber Applauds Federal Court Ruling Protecting LGBT Employees

Richard A Hernandez, Rainbow Chamber PresidentSacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez has released the following statement on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors in regard to the April 4 ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBT employees from workplace discrimination:

“Yesterday’s historic federal court decision confirms for the first time that the Civil Rights Act, in prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin or sex, also extends to discrimination based on sexual orientation—the only logical interpretation of the law’s intention,” Hernandez said. “Since one branch of our government, Congress, has refused for years to extend standard workplace protections to LGBTQ people, it is appropriate that our judicial branch act to ensure all U.S. residents have the right to work without fear of being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Equality under the law allows LGBT parents and heads of households to provide for their families, contribute to their communities, and pay taxes. We applaud the court’s decision and fully expect the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold this wise and fair ruling.”

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.

 

Rainbow Chamber Denounces Trump Administration Roll-back of Transgender Student Protections

Roll-back of Guidelines Guaranteeing Access to Gender-Appropriate Facilities Violates Civil Rights of Transgender Youth

Richard A Hernandez, Rainbow Chamber PresidentSacramento 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.

 

Six Easy Ways to Support LGBT-Owned Businesses

Six Easy Ways to Support LGBT-Owned Businesses

Support LGBT-friendly candidates and proposalsThe 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
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America’s LGBT Purchasing Power Nearing $1 Trillion

At the NGLCC conference this year, we learned that the LGBT buying power in the United States has grown year after year to a new high of $917 billion as of 2015. This is up from approximately $830 billion in 2013 and $790 billion in 2012.

The forecast, based on an estimate that as many as 7 percent of adults identify as LGBT, reflects the growing acceptance by society as more people are willing to self-identify, according to an annual study by the Washington-based communications firm, Witeck Communications.

In the Witeck Communications press release Justin Nelson, president of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is quoted saying, “LGBT buying power is diverse in ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and we are an incredibly loyal constituency.” He goes on to say, “At NGLCC, we have more than 140 corporate partners that recognize not only the influence of the LGBT dollar, but the economics of inclusivity.” Read the full press release.

In comparison, purchasing power for black Americans was estimated at $1.2 trillion last year, with Hispanic buying clout at $1.3 trillion and Asian disposable income at $825 billion, according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth 2015 Multicultural Economy Report. Total U.S. disposable income last year was $13.5 trillion, according to the Selig Center.

This on the heels of the 2015 LGBT Consumer Report by leading demographics firm, Nielson, which states not only do American LGBT households make 10% more shopping trips in a year than the average U.S. household, they buy more — an average of 7% more than non-LGBT consumers– at checkout. LGBT adults are also trendsetters and early adopters who spend twice more for brand names, new appliances and gadgets.

What businesses need to understand about LGBT adults is that they are loyal consumers that shop more consistently and spend a larger amount. Brand loyalty within the LGBT community is especially high. Here are some statistics from Community Marketing Inc. & Harris Interactive.)

  • 55% of LGBT consumers will choose to do business with companies that are committed to the diversity/equal treatment of the LGBT community.
  • 70% of LGBT adults stated they would pay a premium for a product from a company that supports the LGBT community.
  • 78% of LGBT adults and their friends, family and relatives would switch to brands that are known to be LGBT-friendly.
  • 84% of all Americans don’t care if a product they use targets LGBT community

These trends show that the LGBT community is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy, and smart companies should increase their awareness & visibility to the LGBT market and its allies.