News (USA)

Arkansas, Nebraska businesses sign pledge for LGBT equality

Hundreds of businesses in both Arkansas and Nebraska have signed a pledge with the Human Rights Campaign to advance workplace equality for members of the LGBT community.

The HRC, the nation’s largest LGBT rights group, unveiled its “Equality is Our Business” program this week aimed at promoting anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The group said 106 primarily small businesses in Arkansas had signed on to the program’s pledge to embrace and support the LGBT community, along with 113 local businesses in Nebraska.

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In addition to Arkansas and Nebraska, the campaign is also targeting states such as Mississippi and Alabama that do not have statewide regulations to protect LGBT workers.

“We know we have a lot of support in the business community and we wanted to make it visible,” said Drew Heckman, a field organizer in Nebraska for the HRC.

Kendra Johnson, the HRC’s Arkansas director, said the program can “help build a better Arkansas where we retain the state’s top talent and keep our door open wide for new business.”

Last week, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson allowed a bill to go into law that will prevent local governments from expanding anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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