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!

ICYMI: Fast Company Opinion piece calls on businesses to be Open to All

Earlier this month, Fast Company published an opinion piece “Masterpiece Cakeshop” means inclusive companies have more work to do. Authored by MAP’s Director of Communications and Public Education Calla Rongerude, the piece is a strong call to action for inclusive businesses to reject discrimination and declare that they are open to all.  

On June 4, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case involved a bakery that refused service to a same-sex couple claiming it should be exempt from the state’s nondiscrimination law due to the religious beliefs of its owner. While the decision reversed the original ruling by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, it did so on grounds that were unique to the case and applies only to Masterpiece Cakeshop. However, the ruling did NOT broadly allow businesses to discriminate.

As the Open to All campaign manager writes: “inclusive businesses shouldn’t rest easy. Instead, every company should take yesterday’s [Masterpiece] decision as an urgent call to action, declaring their doors open for business–and closed to the misguided notion that faith can or should nullify civil rights in America.”

Open to All is nationwide public engagement campaign to build understanding and discussion about the importance of our nation’s nondiscrimination laws—and the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All.

The coalition has made it easy for public-serving businesses to act. They have launched an Open to All Business Pledge—by signing the pledge and displaying the Open to All sign in a store window, business owners can commit to supporting nondiscrimination protections and send a powerful message that their business is open to all.

Click here to sign the Open to All business pledge: http://opentoall.com/business-pledge

Click here to read the opinion piece in Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/40581046/masterpiece-cakeshop-means-inclusive-companies-have-more-work-to-do

No Place to Call Home: New Ad Shows Real Dangers to LGBT Elders

It’s an emotional time for any family when an aging family member has to move into a nursing home or care facility. For many LGBT older people and their families, the emotions can include fear of being turned away from a facility simply because of who they are. At a time when people need comfort and reassurance, some are denied basic dignity, decency, and respect.

Today, MAP, SAGE, and the Open to All coalition released a new ad, Nursing Home, featuring an older gay man and his family on the first day he moves into an assisted living facility. When the director of the facility learns the man is gay, the man is not allowed to move in. The ad is the latest in a series from MAP that showcase the harms of “religious exemption” laws that allow anti-LGBT discrimination. It’s a hard-hitting reminder of what’s at stake when our nation’s nondiscrimination laws come under fire and when opponents of LGBT equality try to undermine the very foundation of U.S. civil rights laws.

It’s shocking to realize that in a majority of states, LGBT people are not protected against discrimination in housing, employment, or public places like restaurants, hotels, or theaters.

Perhaps even more disturbing is what opponents of LGBT equality are doing to make sure LGBT people have even fewer protections. Right now, we are seeing a coordinated, nationwide effort to file lawsuits and pass laws and policies that would allow individuals, businesses, and even government contractors to use religion as the basis for discriminating against people of color, women, people of minority faiths, and LGBT people, including LGBT elders.

Read more in this opinion piece in The Advocate

While most care providers and businesses will do the right thing when it comes to serving their clients, some will only do so when required by law. In last week’s Supreme Court decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the justices affirmed that states can take steps to protect LGBT people from discrimination, and that religious objections should not be used to deny equal access to goods and services for all Americans. But today, policymakers in Washington and the states are working to pass laws that would increase anti-LGBT discrimination. Among many other negative impacts, these religious exemption laws would allow providers to deny critical health care services and vital social supports to LGBT older adults simply because of who they are.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration established the “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to protect medical providers who deny important care to patients based on religious or moral beliefs. And in the past year alone, lawmakers in 9 states have tried to pass laws allowing anti-LGBT discrimination because of religion.

Religious freedom is a cornerstone of American society, but anti-LGBT forces are using it like a crowbar to break open the door to more discrimination against people because of who they are—not just LGBT people, but anyone that a person, business, or institution finds “objectionable”. In the face of these egregious attempts to strip away nondiscrimination protections and leave our most vulnerable community members at risk, NOW is the time for businesses, care providers, and others to stand up and say their doors are open to everyone and they will not discriminate.

To learn more about how businesses can pledge to be open to all, visit www.OpentoAll.com/business-pledge.

 

So, What Can We Do? New Ad Calls on Supporters to Join the Campaign!

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and many folks are wondering: what can we do?

While the Court’s decision affirms the importance of non-discrimination laws, it does not address the discrimination that millions of Americans still face. In more than half the country, our state laws do not explicitly protect LGBT Americans from discrimination in stores and restaurants, in the workplace, or in housing.

A new ad released today from MAP and the Open to All coalition depicts how hurtful and demeaning it can be to be turned away or refused service by a business simply because of who you are. The ad calls on supporters to join the Open to All campaign in support of nondiscrimination protections for all.

So how can you help?

Ask local businesses in your community to take the Open to All business pledge! It’s easy: businesses go to www.OpenToAll.com/business-pledge and agree to not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

The Open to All coalition is asking supporters to sign the petition and call on Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would update our laws to provide all people with full protection from discrimination.

It’s time for our nation’s laws to catch up to our nation’s values and protect all Americans from discrimination, so that no one can be fired from their job, denied a place to live, or turned away from a business simply because of who they are.

Open to All Week: Recap

Last week, the Open to All coalition and MAP launched the inaugural Open to All Week to raise awareness about the importance of nondiscrimination protections and why if businesses are open to the public, they should be open to all. Two important United States Supreme Court cases are shaping this conversation: Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises.

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the Piggie Park case, which involved a small barbeque chain still open today, that wanted the right to refuse service to African American customers. The owner, a segregationist, claimed that the Civil Rights Act violated his religious freedom.

The Court disagreed in a landmark decision issued on March 18, 1968.

So, what does the Piggie Park case have to do with Open to All and the Masterpiece Cakeshop case?

The impact of Piggie Park has reverberated for decades as a critical part of the foundation of our nation’s Civil Rights laws, and the principle that businesses that are open to the public should be open to everyone on the same terms.

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission involves a Colorado bakery that discriminated against a gay couple in violation of Colorado law, and is claiming it should be exempt from the state’s law due to the religious beliefs of its owner.

A win for the bakery would set us back decades and transport our country back to a time when businesses could say “we don’t serve your kind here,” and would give businesses a legal, constitutionally protected license to discriminate against LGBT people, people of color, minority faiths, people with disabilities, and women. The Open to All coalition was formed in December 2017 to build support for nondiscrimination laws and focus attention on the far-reaching, dangerous risks of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

That’s why Open to All Week is so critical, to remind people that the Supreme Court has heard these arguments before. And just as they did 50 years ago, the Court must reject discrimination.

To amplify this message, we released a number of resources for Open to all Week, including two new ads “Open to All” and “Will We Go Back?“, opinion pieces, a policy brief, and new shareables on social media.

We’re heartened by the efforts of advocates, allies, and even celebrities during Open to All week. Because of the collective outreach of the nearly 150 organizations involved in Open to All, our message reached millions of people on social media.

Check out some of the great #OpentoAll posts from major influencers and celebrities:

Today, as the nation awaits a decision in Masterpiece, Piggie Park’s legacy must be honored. Here’s how you can get involved:

  • WATCH the ads and share them on social media. Visit www.opentoall.com/sharefor all the shareable Open to All resources.
  • READ about the parallels between the cases and why Masterpiece has the potential to alter our nation’s civil rights laws in “50 Years Ago vs. Today: Piggie Park & The High Stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case”
  • VOICE your support for Open to All Week over social media throughout the week with the hashtag #OpentoAllWeek. And follow Open to All on Twitter and Facebook for new content throughout the week.
  • SIGN UP for breaking news, ways to take action in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, and to add your support for the Open to All Coalition.
  • SIGN the ACLU’s People’s Petition and tell the Supreme Court to reject discrimination.

 

NEW AD: 50 Years Later: Will We Go Back?

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued one of its fastest rulings ever in a landmark case, Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises. Piggie Park, a small barbeque chain which is still open today, wanted the right to refuse service to African American customers. The owner, a segregationist, claimed that the Civil Rights Act violated his religious freedom.

The Supreme Court delivered a resounding rebuke of the barbecue chain on March 18, 1968, definitively ruling that the restaurant could no longer discriminate.

Sound familiar? That’s because it is.

Now, fifty years later, in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a Colorado bakery that discriminated against a gay couple in violation of Colorado law is claiming it should be exempt from the state’s nondiscrimination law due to the religious beliefs of its owner.

To mark the fifty-year anniversary of the Piggie Park decision, the Open to All campaign, MAP, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights released a new ad, “Will We Go Back?,” that looks at how a current case before the Supreme Court threatens this historic ruling. The ad was released as part of Open to All Week, March 12-18, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark decision. Learn more about the Piggie Park case and how creating a constitutional license to discriminate in Masterpiece could undermine that historic ruling against discrimination.

Read the story in the Huffington Post “Supreme Court’s Cake Case Could Set America Back 50 Years, Activists Warn

A win for the bakery in Masterpiece threatens the historic legacy of the Piggie Park decision, and could take us back to a shameful era in our nation’s history, an era where businesses could claim a right to discriminate as they see fit—not just for LGBT people, but for people of color, minority faiths, people with disabilities, and women.

Businesses and their owners have a right to their religious beliefs—but that freedom shouldn’t give businesses a license to discriminate.

Take Action:

  • WATCH “Will We Go Back?” and share on social media. Visit www.opentoall.com/sharefor all the shareable Open to All resources.
  • READ about the parallels between the cases and why Masterpiece has the potential to alter our nation’s civil rights laws in “50 Years Ago vs. Today: Piggie Park & The High Stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case”
  • VOICE your support for Open to All Week over social media throughout the week with the hashtag #OpentoAllWeek. And follow Open to All on Twitter and Facebook for new content throughout the week.
  • SIGN UP for breaking news, ways to take action in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, and to add your support for the Open to All Coalition.
  • SIGN the ACLU’s People’s Petition and tell the Supreme Court to reject discrimination.
  • DONATE and support more ads like “Will We Go Back?”

NEW AD: “Open to All”

March 12-18 is Open to All Week, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the landmark decision in the case of Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises. Piggie Park, a small barbeque chain which is still open today, wanted the right to refuse service to African American customers. The owner, a segregationist, claimed that the Civil Rights Act violated his religious freedom. The Supreme Court disagreed.

To help raise awareness of this important anniversary MAP and the Open to All Coalition launched Open to All Week, and released a new ad, “Open to All” featuring Christian small business owners—Howard and Pat—speaking about how nobody should be turned away from a business simply because of who they are.

Now the nation awaits a decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission, where the owner of a bakery is claiming that the state’s nondiscrimination law, which requires him to serve same-sex couples, unconstitutionally violates his religious beliefs.

A win for the bakery in Masterpiece threatens the historic legacy of the Piggie Park decision and could take us back to a shameful era in our nation’s history, an era where businesses could claim a right to discriminate as they see fit.

Piggie Park wasn’t just about barbeque. And Masterpiece isn’t just about cake.

The stakes of the Masterpiece case couldn’t be higher—not just for LGBT people, but for people of color, minority faiths, people with disabilities, and women. Because if a bakery can discriminate against same-sex couples, it won’t stop with bakeries, or with same-sex couples.

This ad was produced by MAP as part of the Open to All coalition, a nationwide public engagement campaign to build understanding and discussion about the importance of our nation’s nondiscrimination laws—and the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All.

To learn more about Open to All week and to view the ad, visit www.Opentoall.com/open-to-all-week

Advocate Opinion: “Tell the Supreme Court That Businesses Must Be ‘Open to All’”

Today, the Advocate published a new opinion piece, “Tell the Supreme Court That Businesses Must Be ‘Open To All,’” marking the start of Open to All Week. In the article, MAP executive director Ineke Mushovic outlined the incredibly high stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case and described how the court has heard these arguments before.

March 12—18, Open to All Week, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the landmark case, Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises. Piggie Park, a small barbeque chain, which is still open today, wanted the right to refuse service to African American customers. The owner, a segregationist, claimed that the Civil Rights Act violated his religious freedom.

The Supreme Court disagreed in a decision issued on March 18, 1968.

Piggie Park wasn’t just about barbeque. And Masterpiece isn’t just about cake.

Now the nation awaits a decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission, where the owner of a bakery is claiming that the state’s nondiscrimination law, which requires him to serve same-sex couples, unconstitutionally violates his religious beliefs.

In the opinion piece, Mushovic warns how a win for the bakery in Masterpiece threatens the historic legacy of the Piggie Park decision and could take us back to a shameful era in our nation’s history, an era where businesses could claim a right to discriminate as they see fit.

Click here to read the opinion piece in the Advocate.

Devastating: New Ad Shows Grieving Widow Turned Away by Funeral Home Because She’s a Lesbian

A grieving widow has just lost her spouse. She, her parents, and her in-laws enter a funeral home to arrange burial services. But they are turned away when the staff realize that the woman and her late spouse are lesbians.This story, inspired by a real legal case, is the center of a new ad, “Funeral Home,” produced by MAP as part of the Open to All public education campaign. Open to All is a nationwide public engagement campaign to build understanding and discussion about the importance of our nation’s nondiscrimination laws—and the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All.

People think discrimination like this couldn’t happen, but it does and it did.

“Funeral Home” is the latest in a series of ads that illustrate how a loss in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case would open the door to wide-ranging forms of discrimination. Masterpiece Cakeshop v. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission involves a Colorado bakery that discriminated against, and refused to serve a gay couple in violation of Colorado’s nondiscrimination law. A decision is expected by June. A ruling for the bakery in this case could sanction and encourage this type of discrimination not just against LGBT people, but also interfaith couples, people of color, women, people with disabilities, and others.

The ad launch received considerable media attention, helping MAP reach a wider audience. Check out some of the top media hits:

Salon Exclusive: ‘Beyond wedding cakes to funerals: The high stakes of Masterpiece Cakeshop SCOTUS case’

Today, Salon published an in-depth exclusive examining the high stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Masterpiece Cakeshop v. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission involves a Colorado bakery that discriminated against, and refused to serve a gay couple in violation of Colorado’s nondiscrimination law. A decision is expected by June.

The article begins with asking a tough question: Can a pivotal Supreme Court ruling lead to “heterosexuals only” signs in front of businesses?

The story was spurred by the release of a new, hard-hitting ad produced by MAP called Funeral Home, which depicts a grieving widow who has just lost her spouse. She, her parents, and her in-laws enter a funeral home to arrange burial services. But they are turned away when the staff realize that the woman and her late spouse are lesbians.

The ad was produced as part of the Open to All public education campaign. This story, inspired by a real legal case, demonstrates how a loss in Masterpiece would open the door to much wider ranging forms of discrimination—including what the grieving widow in the ad faced.

Read more about the new ad in the Salon exclusive ‘Beyond wedding cakes to funerals: The high stakes of Masterpiece Cakeshop SCOTUS case’.