Bolder Advocacy

We Don’t Want Your Cupcakes

Bolder Advocacy is disappointed in the Supreme Court’s 7-2 ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In this decision, the Court issued a narrow ruling for the bakery that refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. While the decision does not open the door to unfettered discrimination as many feared, it does make it more important than ever to fight against discrimination. One easy action that organizations can take is through so-called corporate advocacy: using their power in the marketplace to send a strong message about a business’s practices.

Corporate advocacy is not lobbying, so public charities can incorporate corporate actions without having to track them as a lobbying activity or expenditure. Nonprofits may engage in unlimited amounts of corporate advocacy—meaning that instead of encouraging policy makers to enact change, advocacy efforts are directed toward businesses with the goal of using consumer pressure to create change or protect important interests.

Some examples of corporate advocacy that nonprofits can engage in to encourage businesses to respect the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people include:

  • Encouraging businesses to adopt inclusive policies stating that no individual will be turned away because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Encouraging businesses with inclusive policies to post signs on their doors or windows that signal to the public that all are welcome.
  • Protesting at businesses that discriminate against potential customers. Remember, do not touch or harm any individuals who do patronize the business and do not trespass on private property.
  • Encouraging businesses to require any vendors they contract with to have inclusive policies.
  • Refusing to buy products or services from a business that discriminates. Don’t buy the cupcakes if the business will not serve all people who want a cupcake.