A national chamber of commerce representing LGBT business owners and leaders has put its support behind Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. This endorsement, a first by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), was made at its summer convening in Palm Springs, California.
In a statement shared with NBC OUT, NGLCC co-founder and CEO Chance Mitchell shared that "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."
NGLCC "looked at Hillary Clinton's record of both supporting the LGBT community and policy positions on cutting red tape and creating opportunities for small business," shared NGLCC spokesman Jonathan Lovitz "the choice for President was very clear. She has the record and the stated position that will ensure our communities continue to thrive."
"I am honored to have earned the first-ever endorsement of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce" the former Secretary of State said in a statement in response to the endorsement.
She agreed with Mitchell regarding the stakes of the LGBTQ's community future. "The stakes in this election could not be higher for LGBT Americans," said Clinton. "When Donald Trump says 'he'll make America great again,' that's code for 'take American backwards'."
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is a global advocacy organization with the mission to expand the economic opportunities for the LGBTQ community. With a collection of LGBT-owned and allied organizations the NGLCC has worked for nearly 15 years to make strides for the LGBTQ business community.
LGBTQ issues have been placed front and center during the current election cycle. The tragedy in Orlando in June and the North Carolina "bathroom bill" have required both candidates to discuss the issues the LGBTQ Americans face. Clinton tweeted her condolences to those who lost their lives and pledged to defeat ISIS after the Orlando attack while Trump vowed to "protect our LGBTQ citizens" at the Republican National Convention.
According to Lovitz substantial gains have been made for the LGBT business community under the Obama administration. He highlighted memorandums of understanding with the Small Business Administration and Department of Transportation as an example of the progress.
"Just yesterday we signed one with the [U.S.] Department of Agriculture," he added. All of these agreements are intended to create opportunities for LGBT businesses.
"We don't want to see that foundation eroded by a President Trump who would absolutely ensure that LGBT businesses lose the ground they have made for economic opportunity," Lovitz shared.