US: Governor of California signs law to boost gay business owners
Californian Governor Jerry Brown has signed a law expanding protections and opportunities for LGBT business owners.
Assembly Bill 1678, which was passed earlier this year, requires the Public Utilities Commission to extend provisions already granted to ethnic minority, women, and disabled veteran-owned businesses to those owned by LGBT people.
It provides more protection, and also helps to make it easier for those businesses to compete with larger ones when bidding for state services.
Justin Nelson of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce said: “Governor Brown has further added to his impressive record on economic development and LGBT issues with his signing of this bill into law.
“We are very proud of the hard work of our team, all seven of our California Local Affiliate Chambers, our certified LGBT business owners, the California Small Business Association and other allied organizations that made this law not only our priority, but also their priority.
NGLCC co-founder Chance Mitchell added: “The LGBT business community owes a huge debt of gratitude to [lead sponsors] Assemblyman Gordon and Sen. Leno for their hard work in passing this bill that will have real impact on the lives of LGBT California business owners and the many Californians employed by them.”
It is the second pro-LGBT bill signed by Governor Brown in the past week, after he signed a law outlawing the use of the so-called ‘gay panic’ defense.
The defense – which is often used to get more lenient sentences for criminals after assaults and murders – is based around the claim that a perpetrator was “panicked” into committing a violent crime due to an unwanted advance from a gay person.