Taking Pride in a Landmark Decision

It’s been a good week.

Friday marked the commemoration of Juneteenth – the day 155 years ago when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to share that the Civil War had ended and slavery had been abolished. It took the soldiers two and a half years to get there after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, but there was a lot to rejoice when they did. This day has long been a holiday in the black community and should be a day we all celebrate as it commemorates a moment in history that made our nation stronger.

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, must continue. Since 2012, the Chamber has supported a path to citizenship for young people who come to Colorado from other countries before they are 18 years old. Our members understand that it’s in our economic interest to ensure all Coloradans have the opportunity to work and contribute in the nation they have long called home.

And as our community recognizes Pride Month, the Supreme Court gave us more to celebrate a week ago. In its landmark 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This decision is in line with what the Chamber has endorsed for a long time – that all employees should be respected and protected – no matter their gender or who they love. As we said in our 2017 amicus brief regarding the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the Colorado business community values openness and inclusion. Our economy has benefited because of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and those values are important to our state’s ability to attract and retain the most talented workforce in the nation.

So, while we can’t celebrate these events like we might have last year, we can individually take a moment to raise a glass (of whatever your favorite beverage is).

Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.