published about 6 hours ago
In commemoration of Pride Month in June, Yelp has added a new feature to better help patrons find LGBTQ+ businesses and restaurants. A new attribute will now allow business owners to self-identify as LGBTQ+-owned, making it easier for consumers to find these spaces on Yelp. Additionally, Yelp will roll out rainbow map pins of these LGBTQ+-owned and -supported businesses on June 1; the pins will displayed on the home page on both the mobile app and website, as well as on the pages of directly-searched places.
“Though many strides have been made in the decades since the Stonewall riots in 1969, there are still urgent opportunities for change as we strive to create a world where laws and society treat all people equally,” Yelp wrote in a blog post. “It’s clear that consumers are increasingly looking for businesses that are part of the LGBTQ+ community, as the rate of searches on Yelp for LGBTQ+ owned businesses in the U.S. increased by more than 150 percent in April compared to the same period the year prior.”
“That’s why we’re excited to make it easier than ever for people to discover and support LGBTQ+ business owners, as well as allies to the LGBTQ+ community,” Yelp continued. The new attribute comes after Yelp partnered with Open to All, a nonprofit that works to create an inclusive nation for the marginalized, in 2018 to launch the “Open to All” attribute — a response to the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, in which the Supreme Court sided with a baker who turned away a gay couple in search of a wedding cake.
With Yelp’s latest addition, LGBTQ+-owned businesses and “Open to All” businesses will be highlighted with the rainbow map pins. The new tool is free and opt-in only, so the decision to self-identify as an LGBTQ+-owned business is entirely up to the business owner. Yelp will also monitor these pages for potential hate speech and remove hateful content that violates guidelines. For those interested in self-identifying their businesses as LGBTQ+-owned, simply log into your Yelp for Business account and follow these four steps:
“With hate violence at an all time high, it’s more important than ever for people to be able to find safe and welcoming spaces to celebrate LGBTQ+ equality,” said Calla Rongerude, director of Open to All. “We’re thrilled to partner with Yelp to help users identify not only LGBTQ-owned businesses, but also the hundreds of thousands of Open to All businesses that will celebrate equality not only during Pride, but year round.”