LGBT protections are good for Louisiana families, businesses and economy : A letter to the editor

New Orleans is known for its diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness. These traits attract people to live, work and play in a culture that embraces them. These traits are also money makers. Simple economics dictate that businesses want access to the best employees and the broadest markets for customers.

Narrowing the range of potential employees or customers is not only wrong, but is economically self-defeating. From a legal perspective, the Louisiana State Bar Association adopted a resolution encouraging protections and inclusive policies for the LGBT community this summer.

For these reasons, Louisiana companies, from IBM to Marriott, have adopted employment practices that support LGBT workers and appeal to a public that expects tolerance, inclusiveness and diversity as business values.

These values benefit our families, businesses and economy and fulfill the basic principles of Judeo-Christian culture. Moreover, they also give us advantages over markets that don’t value them. Look no further than the NBA’s decision to move the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte to New Orleans for proof. Respecting these traits is now a formal, core principle of the NFL, NCAA and others.

Tolerance and inclusiveness are fundamental principles of moral and economic powers, and we have them in abundance. Embracing diversity is the smart approach.

Stephen Perry, president and CEO, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

Michael Hecht, president and CEO, GNO Inc.

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