Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Press Release

Statement on WMC Pushing Anti-LGBT Equality Legislation

"It’s shameful that WMC is pushing legislation that will roll back protections local communities in Wisconsin have enacted to protect members of the LGBT community from discrimination."

By - Feb 7th, 2018 04:27 pm

MILWAUKEE — Jason Rae, President & CEO of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, released this statement today on Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) pushing anti-LGBT legislation.

“It’s shameful that WMC is pushing legislation that will roll back protections local communities in Wisconsin have enacted to protect members of the LGBT community from discrimination.

“Senate Bill 634 and Assembly Bill 748 prevents local governments from making decisions about what types of policies are best for those who live and work in a local community. This would have a tremendously negative impact on many cities and counties around the state who are working hard to build welcoming and inclusive communities.

“It is ironic that WMC claims to be fighting to make Wisconsin ‘open for business’ while rolling back protections that actually help attract businesses and workers to our state.

“While ten states have considered this type of legislation, only three have passed a preemption like this. Passing this legislation would make Wisconsin one of the more hostile states in the nation to LGBTQ people.

North Carolina paid the price for deeply discriminatory HB 2. HB 2, a massive pre-emption that repealed local protections for LGBTQ people and other local policies, caused unprecedented business backlash after being fast-tracked through the North Carolina legislature HB 2 has cost North Carolina an estimated $600 million and counting in lost revenue from businesses boycotting the state, cancelled conventions, and national sports events relocating to more LGBTQ-friendly municipalities

“Not only are we encouraging our members to reach out to their elected officials, we are encouraging them to reach out to WMC and let them know they need to stand with the LGBT community.

“WMC has a choice to make – do they believe Wisconsin should be open to all people and an inclusive state or do they believe that people should be discriminated against because of their gender identity and expression? If they are really concerned about a patchwork of local laws, WMC should be out supporting Assembly Bill 418 and Senate Bill 328 which would amend our non-discrimination law statewide to protect against discrimination based on gender identity and expression.”

The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and LGBT-allied businesses, corporations and professionals throughout the state of Wisconsin. It offers networking opportunities, business development efforts within the LGBT community, and educational programming to its members. The organization has more than 500 members from around the state. In 2015, the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce received the National Chamber of the Year Award from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). More information can be found online at: www.wislgbtchamber.com.

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