There are efforts in Washington to try and dismantle the progress that the LGBTQ community has struggled for, and won, over decades of advocacy.
You know about the military ban. You’ve heard from Out & Equal about the Administration’s argument at the Supreme Court, that the Civil Rights Act does not protect LGBTQ Americans.
These are two of the most notorious moves, but there are others that don’t get the attention they deserve. For instance, just before New Year, the Interior Department cut protections on the basis of “sexual orientation” from its non-discrimination guidelines.
Think about that. What message does this send? This is literally the government agency that is charged with protecting the Stonewall National Monument, and they too are stepping back from protecting the rights of our community!
The good news – the thing that I know to be true that keeps me motivated – is that there is a smart, strategic, and well-connected community of people both in and out of government who are paving the way for a better future:
• They refuse to allow the LGBTQ community to be sidelined, overlooked, or erased. Rather, they insist that we be visible.
• They don’t tolerate behaviors that keep some people out. Rather, they work to make inclusiveness and belonging the norm.
• They are acting to make things better in the workplace. And they know that the progress we make at work will also reach every other aspect of life.
When I say “they,” I mean “you.” Senior Executives – including both LGBTQ leaders and allies, persistent D&I change agents, ERG leaders, individuals at all levels that are from – or care about – our community, and those who simply want to work in – and contribute to – environments where people feel they belong and thrive.
I am proud of the way Out & Equal’s partners mobilized to show the Supreme Court that – irrespective of the Administration’s argument – companies understand that equality is good for businesses and for employees.
It gives me hope to see the way in which the LGBTQ employees of the Justice Department have organized to make themselves visible at a time when Attorney General Barr was arguing in court that LGBT rights are not protected by law.
And, as I have shared before, I am bolstered every time I remember and think about our transgender members of our military who, despite the opposition, continue to serve our country.
To all of you who are doing this work, thank you for making a difference, thank you for continuing to inspire me, and thank you for being a part of the Out & Equal community!
Erin Uritus, CEO
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates