BREAKING: Top Corporations, Civil Rights Advocates and 1,200+ Businesses Join Open to All!

These days, it’s hard not to feel discouraged by recent events in our country.

From horrifying news about immigrant families being separated at our border, to dangerous Supreme Court rulings that sanction blatantly discriminatory policies like gerrymandering or the President’s Muslim Ban to stand, it is all very disturbing.

On social media, we see shocking videos of people of color, LGBT people, people of minority faiths, and many others facing discrimination from businesses in their local communities. And, far too often the news is reporting stories like the couple that was recently kicked out of an Uber simply because they’re gayMuslim women who were ordered to leave a cafépeople of color facing abuse and violence in a diner, or people with disabilities being harassed in a restaurant.

As a nation, we decided long ago that when a business opens its doors to the public, it should be open to everyone, on the same terms. It’s time to stand up and defend that bedrock American principal and reject discrimination.

That’s why Open to All today announced that some of the nation’s largest companies including Yelp, Levi Strauss & Co., more than 1,200 small businesses, the cities of New York and Oakland joined the coalition of over 190 civil rights, racial justice, LGBT equality, faith, disability and other organizations to unveil a new nationwide Open to All campaign.

As part of this new business engagement program, the Open to All coalition unveiled a newly revamped website, and new window signage for businesses with storefronts so they can announce to their customers that they are “Open to All.”

Click here to read the exclusive story from the Associated Press Levi’s, Yelp join coalition pledging not to discriminate

We’re also excited to announce that Yelp—the company that connects people with great local businesses—has introduced the “Open to All” attribute businesses to distinguish themselves as a safe and welcoming place to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religious or disability. The new feature makes it easier for consumers across the country to identify and support businesses who are committed to welcoming all.

Other prominent, national businesses enlisting in the effort today include Airbnb, Lyft, and Thumbtack, among others, and all of whom urged other business leaders across the nation to champion the bedrock principle that businesses should serve everyone on the same terms, with dignity and respect. .

The new Open to All campaign is an opportunity for communities big and small to join together and send a strong message that we reject discrimination.

This is our chance to change things for the better and create the kinds of communities where everyone is welcome and not turned away because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion or disability.

Join the campaign and take action:

  • SPREAD THE WORD Order window clings and a toolkit to reach out to local businesses. Ask them to sign the Open to All pledge and show their support publicly!
  • OPEN TO ALL ON YELP Let businesses know about Yelp’s new “Open to All” attribute and encourage them to check the box!
  • SHARE Help spread the word about Open to All by sharing the images and videos below on social media using #OpenToAll
  • BE COUNTED Add your voice to the growing chorus of Americans who reject discrimination! Be a part of the Open to All campaign!

The Aderholt Amendment Harms Vulnerable Children

Last Wednesday, a committee passed the so-called Aderholt Amendment to an appropriations bill that creates a federal license to discriminate for child welfare providers. As detailed in a brief released yesterday by MAP, Lambda Legal, and the Every Child Deserves a Family coalition, if passed, this bill would harm more than 395,000 children in the child welfare system. First, it would allow agencies to use a religious litmus test to determine which children and families to serve. It would also reduce the pool of qualified foster and adoptive families, resulting in negative outcomes for children in care. Finally, it would penalize states that enforce nondiscrimination laws or policies with a potential cumulative cut of $1.04 billion in child welfare funding to states, leaving these states with even fewer resources to care for the children in their care.

Learn more in this brief and then take action.

The Courts: What’s at Stake

As we await confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the president’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, the balance of the Court is weighing heavy on our minds. The cases that the Court could consider have sky-high stakes for many communities because they touch nearly all areas of our lives, from healthcare and employment to voting and the environment.

For LGBT families, there are several cases that the Court could consider in the coming terms that could profoundly undermine critical legal protections. This new article from the Daily Beast summarizes many of these cases, which include issues of employee benefits for same-sex spouses and employment protections for LGBT workers.

Perhaps the most alarming are the number of cases focused on religious exemptions and the extent to which individuals, businesses, and even government employees can be exempted from the law—including laws that protect people from discrimination. A growing, coordinated effort to insert religious exemptions into countless areas of law pose a substantial threat not only to LGBT families and their safety and wellbeing, but to women, people of color, people of minority faiths, people with disabilities, and many more. The extent to which these laws impact the lives of millions of people as they go to the doctor, go to restaurants and movie theaters, and even start families is disturbing.

Today, a federal district court in Michigan is hearing arguments in a case brought by the ACLU challenging the state’s policy of allowing Christian agencies receiving taxpayer dollars to care for children in state care to deny loving, qualified families because of who they are. The stakes in this case are also extremely high. Last year, MAP released a new ad “Kids Pay the Price” showing the harms of laws like these when child welfare agencies are allowed to put their own religious beliefs before the best interest of children.

Just yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to the Health and Human Services funding bill that would mirror the so-called Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, a federal version of these license-to-discriminate bills we’re seeing in states. The bill now heads to the House floor for consideration later this summer.

And, last week, in a letter to faith leaders, the governor of South Carolina defended asking for a waiver from federal nondiscrimination requirements to permit state- and federally-funded child welfare agencies to discriminate. Miracle Hill, an South Carolina evangelical adoption and foster agency that provides services to children in state care, recently turned away an otherwise qualified Jewish couple because they failed to meet the agency’s religious standard. In addition, last week governor signed legislation making this type of discrimination legal throughout the state. Ten states now permit child placing agencies to make decisions about who can foster or adopt a child in the care of the state based–not on the best interests of a child – but rather based on a religious litmus test.

If these cases–and all other cases focused on the ability of individuals, business, government employees, and others to disregard nondiscrimination laws–were to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, the question remains how Judge Kavanaugh would rule.

One thing is clear, we can’t do it alone. Now, more than ever, we need to join together and work to protect our communities from discrimination. Sign up for updates from MAP to learn more about how to take action.