The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) responded to attacks by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on the NGLCC’s recent memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of the Interior.
"Tony Perkins and the so-called Family Research Council have taken bigotry to a new level as they are now trying to take away opportunities from the very people they purportedly claim to represent-American families," said NGLCC co-founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell. The MOU was designed to educate gay and lesbian business owners about opportunities to do business with the Department under the agency’s directive of working with American small businesses.
"It’s clear the Family Research Council (FRC) doesn’t understand that gay and lesbian owned businesses are also American taxpayer owned businesses and therefore should have the same access to opportunities with the federal government," said Nelson and Mitchell, adding "In a recent email newsletter and on their website, the FRC claims that gay and lesbian owned businesses are getting preferential treatment and that a law had been broken by signing the MOU-going so far as to suggest that perhaps the President or Congress should intervene to stop gay enterprises from gaining contracts available to American small businesses."
"The federal government is required to contract with small businesses as well as disadvantaged businesses and nowhere in the statute does it say ONLY small businesses that are owned by heterosexuals," Nelson and Mitchell responded. "Our agreement with the Department is clearly written to educate business owners and offers no special treatment. This ultimate display of bigotry is shameful, unfortunate and a clear misrepresentation of the facts," Nelson and Mitchell said about the FRC propaganda.
The NGLCC noted that similar MOUs are in effect with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and other business interest groups that work with the Department to share information about the federal marketplace with American small businesses. "It’s unconscionable that a group called the Family Research Council is conspiring to close the doors on the American dream," concluded Nelson and Mitchell.