Local businesses express outrage on social media after GR Chamber of Commerce endorses Schuette for governor

Posted at 10:34 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 22:35:17-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich-- A number of businesses in Grand Rapids have expressed disappointment on social media, after the Grand Rapids Chamber announced its endorsement of Bill Schuette as the state's next governor.

Many comments and posts against the endorsement, center around the republican candidate's formal opinion from July 2018 in regards to the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act. Schuette-the current State Attorney General- was asked to give his opinion, after the Michigan Civil Rights Commission voted earlier in the year to expand the interpretation of the act to include protections from discriminations based on sexual orientation and gender identification when it comes to things like housing and education.

In his opinion, Schuette said expanding the interpretation, which currently just uses the word sex, and also bans sexual harassment, would go beyond  the original intent of the Legislature.

It was an opinion that was met with much dismay from the LGBTQ Community and its supporters.

Among the businesses expressing outrage include Donkey Taqueria who posted on Facebook, expressing its disappointment in the endorsement, adding it would be ending its long-standing relationship with the Chamber of Commerce.

The company 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications also expressed disappointment on its Facebook page.

FOX 17 reached out to several local businesses about the endorsement, but none wanted to comment on camera Tuesday.

When asked about the endorsement, Chamber President, Rick Baker told FOX 17 while they don't agree with every candidate on every single issue, they try to align with those who can help Michigan's business sector.

"We have worked a lot the last few years with the current administration to make improvements in the business climate. We’re seeing the results of that. People are coming back to Michigan businesses are growing," said Baker.  "We want to continue that process and continue that forward movement, and policies that align with Schuette put us in that direction to keep us moving forward.”

The chamber also said it still supports the LGBTQ community.

“Our commitment to diversity inclusion is not wavering whatsoever, particularly around Elliot Larsen and the LGBT community.  We still are committed to moving that policy forward and making change for Michigan,” said Baker.

Baker said the Chamber welcomes the opportunity to talk with community members about the endorsement and any concerns they may have.