USHCC Applauds President Obama for Supporting LGBT Workforce Equality

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) applauds President Barack Obama for today's executive order that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in federal employment. The executive order also prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees' sexual orientation and gender identity. This action is consistent with what the USHCC believes strengthens businesses and expands opportunities for American workers and keeps our nation competitive in the global market.

"Today's executive order is a bold step toward workplace equality. An inclusive and supportive workplace maximizes opportunities for success and is a crucial component for economic growth," said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. "The USHCC celebrates this action and will continue to work with both public and private sector partners to ensure our LGBT community enjoys equal opportunities and shared prosperity as part of a strong American workforce."

Employees who work for federal contractors are currently protected against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and age. President Obama's executive order expands upon these protections by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

In his comments this morning at the White House, President Obama stated, "Equality in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, it turns out to be good business. That's why a majority of Fortune 500 companies already have nondiscrimination policies in place. It is not just about doing the right thing -- it's also about attracting and retaining the best talent."

Earlier this year, the USHCC publicly condemned B1062 -- a bill that would have allowed businesses to deny service to LGBT persons based on religious beliefs -- and urged Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill. As part of ongoing initiatives to partner with the LGBT community, the USHCC also unveiled its "LGBT Business Advocate Award" last year at the organization's 2013 National Convention, honoring Mr. George Carrancho of American Airlines with the inaugural award.

About the USHCC

Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of our nation's entrepreneurs. The USHCC advocates on behalf of nearly 3.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses, that together contribute in excess of $468 billion to the American economy, each year. As the leading organization of its kind, the USHCC serves as an umbrella to more than 200 local chambers and business associations across the nation, and partners with more than 220 major corporations.

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CONTACT: Ammar Campa-Najjar Associate Director of Communications 619-721-5148Source:United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce