The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, also known as the NGLCC, endorsed Joe Biden for president Monday, saying the former vice president's commitment to signing the Equality Act would empower and protect LGBTQ entrepreneurs and business owners.
The Democratic candidate would guarantee nondiscrimination protections that ensure equitable access to capital, particularly during the post-pandemic economic recovery, the chamber said.
"Joe Biden proudly affirms an essential core value of the NGLCC: that we all deserve our shot at the American Dream, and that our economy only succeeds when it is available to all LGBT and allied Americans," Justin G. Nelson, the organization's president, said in a written statement announcing the endorsement.
In a subsequent interview with NBC News, Nelson said the "number one issue" for LGBTQ-owned businesses across the U.S. "is access to capital, especially during the pandemic."
“When you have 35 states that can deny you credit just for being LGBT, that puts our businesses at significant risk of not being able to secure the capital they need to be successful.”
The Equality Act,a bill that President Donald Trump opposes, was passed last year by the House but then languished in the Senate, where it was never brought up for a vote. If signed into law, the bill would explicitly amend various nondiscrimination laws to prohibit LGBTQ discrimination in banking, jury duty, public accommodations and other areas.
Chance Mitchell, the chamber's co-founder and CEO, added that Biden "is the 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 a President Biden will continue fighting for the collective economic and social longevity of America’s 1.4 million LGBT business owners and the more than $1.7 trillion they add to the U.S. economy despite ongoing discrimination."