Annual Business Leaders Luncheon will focus on ensuring public accommodation protections
March 20, 2018 – As the U.S. Supreme Court considers a case that could decide whether LGBTQ Oregonians are protected by public accommodation laws, Basic Rights Oregon is building a coalition of businesses committed to keeping Oregon open to all. At this year’s Oregonians Against Discrimination Business Leaders Luncheon on April 19, Basic Rights will honor two businesses which focus on creating safe and affirming spaces for all customers—Starbucks and ¿Por Qué No? Taqueria.
Basic Rights Oregon’s Oregonians Against Discrimination Business Leaders Luncheon will be held Thursday, April 19 at the Oregon Convention Center starting at 11:30 a.m. For more information and to buy tickets, visit: https://bro.ejoinme.org/oad2018.
The case before the Supreme Court, Masterpiece Cakes v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, threatens to limit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. It challenges whether or not businesses open to the public should be allowed to pick and choose their customers. Oregonians decided more than a decade ago that no matter who you are or who you love, people should be treated with dignity and respect when we passed the Oregon Equality Act. The court is considering a case that could undermine public accommodation protections included in the Equality Act.
The luncheon will be hosted by baker Alex Cagley-Wilson of Hungry Hero and will celebrate bakers, restaurant owners, hotel owners and others who won’t allow discrimination to take hold in Oregon—no matter how the court rules.
During the luncheon, Basic Rights Oregon will honor Starbucks, ¿Por Qué No? Taqueria and feature Pamela Trezevant of Wells Fargo.
Why Starbucks: With more than 28,000 stores around the world, including nearly 400 in Oregon, Starbucks is a model for inclusive business practices. It has long history and commitment to our LGBTQ partners (employees), including those who are transgender or transitioning.
- For more than 20 years, Starbucks has offered health insurance coverage to partners in lesbian and gay relationships.
- For nearly a decade, Workplace Gender Transition Guidelines have supported Starbuck employees who are transgender or considering transitioning.
- Starbucks even updated its technology systems to ensure that documentation in stores reflects an employee’s name while they are transitioning.
“Whether in a small town or a big urban area, LGBTQ community members know when we visit a Starbucks we will see employees that represent our community,” said Amy Herzfeld-Copple, Co-Executive Director. “Even in states that lack LGBTQ legal protections, Starbucks models what it means to be open to all. Their leadership is essential to creating safe and affirming spaces for our community.”
Why ¿Por Qué No? Taqueria: With two locations in Portland ¿Por Qué No? Taqueria is one of the city’s most beloved locally owned restaurants. Owner Bryan Steelman opened on Mississippi Avenue in 2005 and then on Hawthorne Avenue in 2008. Both taquerias are known for their long lines of customers nearly every day of the year.
Steelman prides himself on his progressive and inclusive business values, hiring a diverse workforce, providing true living wages, health insurance, paid time off, matching retirement funds and parental paid leave among many other benefits. ¿Por Qué No? Taqueria is also incredibly philanthropic in the community, supporting organizations that focus on equity and inclusion in education and healthcare, immigrant justice, LGBTQ equality and many other causes.
“Bryan and the ¿Por Qué No? team reflect the best of Oregon values,” said Nancy Haque, co-executive director. “Bryan has taken an intentional approach to ensure his employees reflect all Portlanders and he continues to invest in these employees. And no matter how you identity, you always know ¿Por Qué No? will welcome you.”
The event is sponsored by Intel, JP Morgan Chase, Powell Phones, Providence Health & Services, New Seasons Market, Oregon Health & Science University, Lane Powell, Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, Stoel Rives LLP, The Standard, TriMet, Wells Fargo, Nike, Enterprise and Morel. #OregonOpentoAll