REI condemns violence and hate against the LGBTQ+ community
Nov 22, 2022
As a co-op community, we are saddened and angered by the attack that occurred at Q Club, a place that has long been a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs.
Unfortunately, this violent act was neither unique nor random. Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ+ people living in the U.S. report experiencing discrimination in their lives, and nearly 1 in 5 of documented hate crimes are reportedly motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias. In the last year, we’ve also seen more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures. This recent incident in Colorado on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance is a tragic example of how violence can be normalized when hateful stereotypes and rhetoric against the LGBTQ+ community are emboldened.
Hate has no place at REI or in our society. We remain committed to ensuring the co-op, the outdoors, and broader society are places where everyone—including LGBTQ+ people—can feel safe, welcome, and included.
We encourage the entire co-op community to join us in speaking out against hate and supporting the LGBTQ+ community by:
- Supporting the Equality Act. In at least 29 states, LGBTQ+ individuals can be denied basic freedoms because of who they love or their gender identity. The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights laws to finally protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. Through the REI Cooperative Action Network anyone can urge their Senators to pass this essential legislation.
- Donating or volunteering with organizations that are led by and serve LGBTQ+ people. REI provides more than $500,000 in annual support for programs and organizations working to achieve equality for LGBTQ+ people. This supports organizations like the Pride Foundation, TranSending, The Venture Out Project, and more who are working to ensure our society is safe, equitable and inclusive of for everyone. Several local organizations in Colorado have also created fundraisers to directly support victims and their families.
- Building understanding of LGBTQ+ experiences. Access learning resources from organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG, the Movement Advancement Project, the Williams Institute and Freedom for All Americans.
About the REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 21.5 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 179 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.