Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has welcomed an endorsement from the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
The former Secretary of State won an unprecedented endorsement from the business voice of the LGBT community, which has never previously made an endorsement in a Presidential race.
Clinton has a broad manifesto of detailed LGBT rights policies, while Donald Trump lists no specific pro-LGBT policies anywhere.
In recent months Trump has tacked heavily against LGBT rights – pledging to appoint justices to repeal equal marriage, coming out against federal anti-discrimination protections, and coming out in favour of anti-transgender laws.
In a statement to PinkNews, Hillary Clinton said: “I am honoured to have earned the first-ever endorsement of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
“For nearly 15 years, the NGLCC has paved the way for LGBT-owned and –allied businesses to succeed, grow, and find new clients and partners.
“Just this month, they brought together a record-breaking number of LGBT business leaders at their annual convention.
“The stakes in this election could not be higher for LGBT Americans.
“When Donald Trump says he’ll ‘make America great again,’ that’s code for ‘take America backwards.’ He has said he would appoint judges who would overturn marriage equality.
“The man Trump chose as his running mate signed a law that opened the door for Indiana businesses to discriminate against LGBT people and said marriage equality could cause ‘societal collapse.’
“As we’ve seen in North Carolina, discrimination isn’t only wrong – it’s bad for business. North Carolina’s egregious HB2 measure has caused companies to pull jobs and millions of dollars out of the state.”
She added: “We have our work cut out for us. As President, I’ll keep fighting for equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans by passing the Equality Act.
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“And I want to be the small business president and make things easier for small businesses every step of the way. In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it – no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.
“That’s why I have a comprehensive plan to make it easier to start a business, get the financing to grow, file taxes and work with the federal government, and provide good benefits to workers.
“I am proud to stand with the NGLCC in this election and every day.”
The NGLCC said: “Secretary Clinton has denounced LGBT discrimination as not only morally wrong, but fundamentally bad for business. NGLCC leadership considers her election imperative to the well being of America’s economy and the monumental gains achieved in recent years for the LGBT community.
“Among the policies NGLCC cites for their historic endorsement are her commitments to cutting red tape and unnecessary tax burdens on small businesses; as well as preserving and expanding President Obama’s LGBT equality executive actions, essential to NGLCC’s work toward the full federal inclusion of LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs). The organization serves as the exclusive certifying body and advocacy force for LGBT businesses seeking contracts and economic opportunities with the Fortune 500, along with multiple federal agencies and state governments.”
NGLCC Co-Founder and CEO Chance Mitchell said: “The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has never endorsed a candidate in its nearly fifteen year history, but the stakes have never been so high for the future of the LGBT business community. Hillary Clinton is the progressive champion our businesses and our families need to thrive.
“The LGBT community has come too far to lose its seat at the table, and we are certain that Secretary Clinton will be the President fighting for the collective economic and social longevity of America’s 1.4 million LGBT business owners.”
“The NGLCC and our partners are proud to endorse a champion for equality and opportunity who will promote the Democratic Party’s most progressive platform yet.
“Secretary Clinton proudly affirms an essential core value of the NGLCC: that we are all stronger together, and that our economy only succeeds when the American Dream is available to all LGBT and allies.”