Advocacy



Advocacy is one of the four pillars of GSBA in our mission to combine business development, leadership, and social action to expand economic opportunities for the LGBT community and those who support equality for all. Founded with a social justice mission,GSBA is proud to be an avowedly progressive business organization. Representing the voice of our community, of our businesses, and of our nonprofits is critical. It is the membership that drives our policy work - each of our civic engagement events is organized by and for our members. 

GSBA priorities during the 2018 legislative session


Banning conversion therapy (SB 5722) - Would protect the physical and psychological well-being of minors against exposure to serious harms caused by conversion therapy. Performing conversion therapy would be considered unprofessional conduct for any licensed health care provider and subject them to losing their license. Learn more.

Preventing harassment and bullying of transgender students (SB 5766) - Expands the existing law prohibiting the harassment, intimidation, and bullying of any student to specifically include transgender students. Learn more.

Require long-term care providers to be trained on LGBTQ issues (SB 5700) - Requires long-term care workers to include LGBTQ cultural competency as part of their continuing education program.

Update the Uniform Parentage Act (SB 6037) - Strengthens protections for LGBTQ parents and non-biological parents. Would allow for compensated surrogacy while protecting health, wellbeing, and autonomy of women acting as surrogates.

Support the Equal Pay Act (HB 1506) - Would protect workers from practices that perpetuate inequality. Allows workers to discuss and inquire about pay without retaliation. Requires pay to be based on bona fide job-related criteria. Learn more.

Create a statewide tourism marketing fund (SHB 1123, SSB 5251) - Create a marketing plan and campaign focusing on bringing more tourists to WA, managed by a nonprofit entity representing the geographic and cultural diversity of the state. WA is the only state in the country without a tourism board, and the significant economic opportunities brought by tourism will be a boon to small businesses.

Other priorities - GSBA is very active during session and is supporting many other efforts such as the Voting Rights Act, net neutrality, creating uniform statewide business regulations, and more.
Find our who are your elected officials and register to vote or update your registration at MyVote (part of the Washington Secretary of State's office).

Public Policy Task Force


Are you interested in LGBT and/or small business policy issues? GSBA's monthly Public Policy Task Force comes together to discuss issues of importance to the LGBT and small business communities. We often bring in elected officials, advocates, and other policymakers to present to our members.

PPTF meets on the third Monday of every month, except where otherwise noted.

Attendance FREE and is open to all GSBA members

Please contact Matt Landers, GSBA Public Policy and Communications Manager for more information.



GSBA Blog: Advocacy Posts


Small businesses speak out against anti-LGBTQ discrimination

by Matt Landers, Public Policy & Communications Manager
| Nov 09, 2017
 
Small business leaders across the country understand that being open to the public means being open to everyone. We don’t shut our doors to people or discriminate against them because of what they look like, where they’re from, who they are, or who they love.
 
But opponents of LGBTQ equality are increasingly attempting to establish a “License to Discriminate” in state laws, at the federal level, and in the courts– and they’re often pushing this discrimination in the name of supposedly protecting small business owners.
 
This will be the case on December 5, when the U.S. Supreme Court will consider Masterpiece Cakeshop, a case of a bakery that denied service to a same-sex couple because they are gay – and in the lead-up to the case, we must come together to assert the importance of equality.
  
Are you a small business owner who supports LGBTQ equality? If so, please add your name to the growing list of small business leaders speaking out against anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Just click here.
 
Your business name and city will be listed on Freedom for All Americans’ website along with hundreds of other small businesses and organizations who support nondiscrimination policies and oppose efforts to undermine or exempt businesses from LGBTQ-inclusive policies. Freedom for All Americans is the national campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide, and has been a vital partner of GSBA in our work with Washington Won't Discriminate.
 
Small business owners are the backbone of our communities – communities where all people should be respected and no one should be denied service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. And now more than ever, we need small business leaders to stand up and declare their support for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections.
 
Inclusion and diversity are critical to a thriving economy and a dynamic workforce – and efforts to undermine or exempt businesses from LGBTQ-inclusive policies are bad for business and bad for the community.
 
That’s why small business leaders are uniting against anti-LGBTQ discrimination. If you own a small business and are ready to take a stand, add your name to support LGBTQ equality and oppose these “License to Discriminate” proposals here.