Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The LGBT community is excluded from enterprise benefits afforded other minorities

Equal Enterprise Opportunity Might be as Important as Marriage Equality in the Long Term.

As I wrote about yesterday (regarding Major League Baseball), our community is not able to compete as a minority supplier.
  • We are not recognized as socially disadvantaged under Section 8(a) by the Small Business Administration. 8(a) provides opportunities for things like sole-source contracts. 8(a) companies can also form joint ventures for government contracts. These can then go on to compete in the commercial marketplace.
  • The largest certifier of minority businesses, the National Minority Supplier Development Council does not recognize gay-owned businesses as minority owned. Many large organizations (like Major League Baseball) defer to NMSDC to determine who participates in supplier diversity programs.
Why is this important?

First the obvious. This could bring billions of dollars into our community. We could reinvest in socially responsible projects.

We are socially disadvantaged due to years of repression and hostility — some of which is ongoing. Our community has many young entrepreneurs who might have an opportunity to blossom and develop their businesses with a little help from the government and companies that have vendor diversity programs.

Then, of course, there is the example that we set for gay kids. Imagine a career day where our highly successful entrepreneurs can tell them that anything is possible.

Furthermore, we are going to set an example in our hiring practices. We might give other people in our community opportunities that would otherwise be denied to them. Nothing speaks to equality like economic success.

If we can get the SBA to changes its rules, organizations that certify minorities might follow suit.

Call your elected representatives.

They need to know that the SBA is effectively discriminating against us. While Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans are considered socially disadvantages we are excluded. Why is that?
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