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Yelp Stands with Gavin Grimm

Yelp is proud to join the Human Rights Campaign’s amicus brief in support of Gavin Grimm. With the help of the ACLU and others, Gavin sued his local school board in Virginia, which had denied him access to the boys’ restroom at his school because he is a transgender boy.

A federal court denied his request for a preliminary injunction that would have allowed him to use the boys’ restroom at his school (the school had let Gavin use that restroom until the school board intervened). An appeals court overturned the decision of the lower court, but the Supreme Court then intervened and agreed to hear the case.

We believe it is paramount for the business community to speak up in support of equality and dignity, as the Supreme Court is now hearing Gavin’s case.

The need to speak up on these issues has become depressingly more frequent. In 2014, Yelp urged the Governor of Arizona (where Yelp is a large employer) to veto a state law that would have allowed retailers to discriminate against LGBTQ consumers. In 2015, we publicly came forward against anti-discrimination laws being considered in Indiana and Arkansas, pledging Yelp would not “create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large.” Finally, Yelp joined last year’s legal brief challenging HB2, a North Carolina law that (similar to the ruling facing Gavin) blocks transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

Inclusivity isn’t just right; it can be good for every business’ online reputation and bottom line. Our remarkable community often serves as first responders in identifying discrimination against LGBTQ customers by local businesses. In order to better facilitate such inclusivity, we’re proud to announce a new feature which allows businesses and consumers to identify if a business offers a gender-neutral restroom. The function will look like this on a Yelp listing:

Gavin has courageously challenged a discriminatory practice in his community. We are honored to stand with him, and hopeful that the Supreme Court will issue a decision protecting Gavin and all transgender people across America from discriminatory practices.