According to a new poll conducted on behalf of Small Business Majority, the Center for American Progress and American Unity Fund, a whopping 80% of small business owners nationwide support federal protections for LGBT people covering public accommodations, including public spaces such as parks, restaurants, shops and hotels.
This finding is welcome news for our campaign, as we seek to lay the groundwork to update Massachusetts’ law by ensuring that transgender Bay Staters are protected from discrimination in public spaces. Current Massachusetts’ law does not have explicit protections for gender identity in the state’s public accommodations law.
In addition to finding that small businesses are overwhelmingly in support of a comprehensive non-discrimination law, the poll also found that small businesses oppose discrimination of any kind towards the LGBT community, including so-called religious freedom laws that would give businesses the ability to deny service to someone simply because of who they are or whom they love.
Matt McTighe, Freedom for All Americans campaign manager believes it isn’t a surprise that small business owners are overwhelmingly supportive of non-discrimination laws. “Our communities do best when businesses of all sizes can thrive. And laws that create hostile environments for LGBT people–making it legal for them to lose their job or even be denied service in a restaurant–hurt businesses.”
Here in Massachusetts, businesses big and small agree, discrimination is bad for business, and bad for the Bay State. Already, Google, Harvard Pilgrim and Eastern Bank have endorsed our campaign, saying that it’s time to secure full equality for transgender people in our state.
In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to working alongside small businesses and major corporations to make the case to lawmakers that no one in Massachusetts should face discrimination in public spaces simply because of who they are. Click here to check out our business coalition, Massachusetts Businesses for Freedom.