Open To All: Opposing Discrimination and Supporting ALL of our Communities

Today I joined Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and Treasurer José Cisneros to launch Open to All in San Francisco, a nationwide campaign to build understanding and discussion about the importance of protecting all people from discrimination.

With Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, Supervisor Vallie Brown, and Director of the Office of Trans Initiative Clair Farley

San Francisco is a beacon of hope for the country with some of the strongest anti-discrimination policies and community programs; yet we know we can do more. Our work is not done until everyone is safe and celebrated not just in San Francisco, but also across the country.

As the Federal Administration continues to attack our communities, it is important that we stand by our values of being Open To All and call on other cities to follow suit.

As people go about their daily lives, from going to the gym, school, work or hanging out with friends, they should not have to worry about whether they will be welcomed or face hostility and even be denied service simply because of who they love, their race or ethnicity, gender identity or expression, disabilities, or religious beliefs.

Sadly, as the President continues to wield division and hate, it is having a devastating impact on our communities such as a gay couple who was recently kicked out of a car share; Muslim women who were ordered to leave a café; people of color and trans community members facing violence; and people with disabilities being harassed in a restaurant. Enough is enough.

In San Francisco, our diversity is our strength. As these attacks continue to take place across the country it is time for our cities, elected officials, and businesses to open their doors to the public and affirm they are Open to All.

Today, more than half the country does not have state laws that explicitly protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination. In the majority of states, customers can be turned away from a business, denied a place to live, or be fired from their job simply because they are LGBTQ.

Businesses have played an important role in advancing nondiscrimination protections across the county because they have recognized that inclusion is the right thing to do and fairness and equality are good for business. Cities and states are becoming more aware of the negative impact discrimination can have on their economies.

North Carolina is one example of the impact that state-sanctioned discrimination can have. After passing HB2, a law that prevents local cities from passing LGBTQ protections and required trans students to use restrooms that correspond with their birth certificate instead of their gender identity, the state lost millions in revenue and the impact of the backlash is still being measured.

In San Francisco we support our LGBTQ communities and stand united against intolerance. As the President is trying to erase transgender people, we are standing united against hate. The City currently bans city funded travel and contracting with nine states that have passed anti-LGBTQ legislation including Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas, because discrimination anywhere is a threat to people everywhere.

While trans rights continue to be under attack, last year I issued an Executive Directive to expand gender and self-identifiers on City forms and applications, and provide gender identity training for City employees.

It is our responsibility to stand up for equality, fairness, and civil rights. We call on all cities, elected officials, and businesses to join us in being Open to All.

Here is how you can support the campaign:

  • Cities can take a stand for nondiscrimination by becoming an Open to All City and by passing inclusive policies. Together we can create a welcoming and safe environment for all people!
  • Ask your favorite business to take the pledge and post Open to All signage. We encourage you to shop in stores who have taken the pledge and invite your favorite business to join us.
  • As elected officials we have taken the pledge and we encourage all elected officials to do the same! For more information and resources visit OpentoAll.com.