Writing a Letter to the Editor (LTE) is an important way to communicate your support for LGBTQ –inclusive nondiscrimination protections. As Small Business Owners your voice is especially important as the Supreme Court is considering the Masterpiece Cakeshop case and dangerous religious exemptions that could undermine state and local protections around the country.
Ahead of Small Business Week – April 29–May 4 – members of Small Businesses Against LGBTQ Discrimination are submitting LTEs to their local paper. Please get in touch with Amy Mello at amello[@]freedomforallamericans.org if you need help submitting an LTE.
Your letter should do the following:
- Put a face on the issue! Use your letter to share why you personally support LGBT nondiscrimination protections and why you believe your business that is open to the public should be open to all
- Mention that you’re writing this letters during National Small Business Week because you oppose religious exemptions that would undermine nondiscrimination protections. Review the talking points below for sample language.
- Please do not talk about opponents of LGBT nondiscrimination or what motivates them. Polling repeatedly shows that voters turn away when we start a tit-for-tat with opponents.
Tips for Getting Your Letter Published
- Keep it short – Most papers will only publish LTEs that are less than 300 words. These rules and other guidelines specific to each paper are usually posted on their websites. Make sure your letter follows the rules before you send it.
- Include Contact info– Most papers require your name, address and phone number to verify you as the author.
- Make it Personal – Make your letter personal. If your paper has published recent editorials or letters you may reference or respond to those as well.
- Don’t become discouraged. Sometimes it takes more than one attempt to get a letter published. If your letter is not published write another letter from a different angle.
- Encourage your friends and family to write to their local newspapers. More submissions will result in more letters in print.
Submitting Your Letter
- Most papers have a website through which you can submit your letter. Look for the opinion section or a specific link that will direct you on how to submit your letter. If confused, call the paper and ask them how to submit the letter.
- We encourage you to send a copy of your draft LTE to Amy Mello at Amello[@]FreedomForAllAmericans.org so our team can lend feedback on content or provide tips for getting your LTE accepted and printed. We want everyone to hear you!
Small Business Week Talking Points
- As small business owners, we know that being open to the public means being open to all. Inclusion and diversity are critical to a thriving economy and dynamic workforce. Keeping our businesses open to all allows us to serve our communities, recruit and retain top talent, and sustain our livelihoods.
- Local businesses play an important role in our economy and in our communities; that’s why it is so important that we serve all customers and not judge or refuse to serve them because of who they are.
- Strong businesses lead to strong communities. When everyone is free to live their lives free from discrimination, our communities are vibrant and thriving places to live, work, and raise a family.
- Owning a business is hard work, but no matter how one feels about people who are gay or transgender, it is important that businesses follow the law and treat customers fairly. It’s good for business and good for the community.
- Any efforts to exempt businesses from serving everyone on equal terms will undermine the inclusive policies that benefit our businesses and our communities. Our enterprising values of fairness, diversity, and equal opportunity for all are the best way for us to build our businesses. Keeping our doors open to all is the right thing to do, and the impact it has on our bottom line is impossible to ignore.
- No one should experience discrimination because of who they are or who they love. LGBTQ people are our friends, neighbors, family and coworkers. When it comes to being able to earn a living, having a place to live, or being served by a business, they should be treated like anyone else and not be discriminated against.