Surprise. The often poisonous U.S. Chamber of Commerce is to be applauded — for its endorsement of the Equality Act to extend workplace civil rights protection to LGBT people.

Read it here.

It’s good for business says the chamber. In a publicity release, a chamber letter said:

The findings show that – among other benefits – inclusive policies and practices allow companies to better recruit and retain top talent.

Currently, 29 states – including Arkansas – have no laws preventing workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. In these states, LGBT employees can legally be fired or discriminated against in the workplace. 

The U.S. Chamber is often a bell cow for Arkansas’s Republicans in Congress. Might it bring French Hill, Rick Crawford, Bruce Westerman, Steve Womack, Tom Cotton and John Boozman over to the side of discouraging discrimination on account of sexual orientation or gender identity? Here’s the letter they received from the chamber.

Key word is “Arkansas.” State law was specifically written to protect such discrimination in employment, housing and public services. To the extent the subject came up in the recent legislative session, it included talk of still more discrimination against LGBT people, such as in adoption.