Yelp has added a new option to allow businesses to advertise the fact that they do not discriminate.
There have been a string of high-profile cases in the US over the past few years where business owners, typically citing evangelical Christian beliefs, have denied service to gay people on ‘moral’ grounds.
The issue has become contentious and is likely years away from a solution, with Republicans in Congress still firmly opposed to federal LGBT anti-discrimination protections.
From today, however, online review and listing service Yelp has added a facility for businesses to confirm they have pledged to be ‘Open to All’ and will not discriminate against minority groups, as part of a national campaign.
Yelp SVP Luther Lowe explained: “We’re introducing the ‘Open to All’ attribute today, allowing businesses to distinguish themselves as a safe and welcoming place to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion or disability.
When visiting the Yelp page of a participating business users will be able to see whether or not the business is ‘Open to All’. Just look for it under ‘More business info,’ where you’d typically check if they accept reservations or not.”
He explained : “Launched in response to the recent ruling on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, The Open to All campaign aims to step in where legislation falls short and help protect consumers from discrimination.
“Every day, consumers face varied degrees of discrimination. Beyond the LGBTQ+ community, this also unfortunately exists for many minority communities in our country and we are equipping consumers with the information they need to confidently patronize any place of business.
We encourage business owners who are proud to be ‘Open to All’ to take the pledge and opt-in to the attribute on your Yelp business page,“Today, many businesses are already pre-identified as ‘Open to All’ on Yelp, including New Day Craft, Luna Grill and Garden Fresh Restaurants.
“Business owners who make themselves as ‘Open to All’ will also receive a window decal to display in their storefront.”