By Michael R. Futterman
I don’t know if I am a good ally or if I am making a difference. And I know I still have a lot of work to do. But, I can tell you what I believe being a good ally is – it means being one in all aspects of your life, professionally and personally, all year long, not when it’s convenient and not only in June, during Pride month.
As a management side employment lawyer, it means making sure my clients are aware not only of their legal obligations concerning their LGBTQ+ employees, but also the benefits of having an open and welcoming organization where inclusivity and diversity are promoted. It means ensuring that LGBTQ+ issues are incorporated into employee training and development; that sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are included in anti-discrimination policies; that clients large and small consider diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, employee resource groups and support networks; and that my clients explore effective ways to recruit, retain and promote LGBTQ+ employees. It means ensuring that employer’s health benefits allow for same-sex and domestic partner coverage; that parental leave policies include equal benefits for parents of any gender; and that dress codes are gender-neutral. It means trying to create a workplace culture for LGBTQ+ employees where they feel safe, welcome and appreciated. Continue reading “What it means to be an LGBTQ+ ally?”
By Jeanette M. Berberich
To me, Pride Month is a time for reflection. It is a time to remember LGBTQIA+ history and to honor those who fought—and continue to fight—tirelessly for equality in the face of hate and intolerance. In 2022 alone, lawmakers have introduced more than 300 anti-LGBT bills at the state level and nationwide, largely targeting transgender youth. Our community owes a debt to our queer BIPOC- and trans- communities that laid the groundwork, created Pride, and made it a riot at Stonewall in 1969. Since then courageous LGBTQIA+ folx have continued to fight for our right to exist. We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Not only do we face legal battles, but we also cannot forget individuals who face social and environmental battles every day.
We must also take time to celebrate what makes our community special—our diversity, vibrancy, acceptance, and love—and the progress we have made as a movement. Pride Month presents a perfect opportunity to remind ourselves of all we have to celebrate and as a reminder to continue to fight for the diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives that are so important to our community. Continue reading “Pride To Me”
By Edward Cramp
Clients of the Duane Morris law firm deserve the very best legal representation. It does not matter what kind of client they are. We have clients of all shapes and sizes. Some are publicly traded companies with large internal legal departments. Others are family businesses that have served their communities for generations. And, some are pro bono clients who need our advice to do good in the world.
Regardless of who the client is, they deserve the best. Our lawyers and staff can only give their best if they feel supported and accepted at work for who they are and who they love. Only then will they bring their whole self to the profession. Continue reading “Bring Your Whole Self”
By Ryan Wesley Brown
Planning a wedding is stressful, especially in our semi-post-COVID world, where the specter of another surge of illness still looms over any large event. But a new anxiety now hangs over my own wedding planning: legal impossibility. The Supreme Court majority is methodically laying the groundwork to unravel decades of hard-won civil rights battles, stare decisis be damned.
Public opinion on LGBTQ rights has shifted during recent years. For example, a 2021 Gallup Poll shows that 70% of Americans believe that same-sex couples should be entitled to legally protected marriage rights. National brands, including retailers, banks, and tech companies, have embraced Pride month as part of the annual cycle of holidays and marketing campaigns. Slotting neatly between the tent pole summer holidays of Memorial Day and Independence Day, one might be tempted to believe that queer America has achieved some sort of immutable victory in the fight for equality. Continue reading “Tiny Protests: Living Pride Every Day”
By David E. Watson
That was my first reaction when Ed Cramp mentioned he wanted to start a firm wide LGBTQ affinity group.
There’s no overt discrimination at the firm. The fact that anyone might be LGBTQ seemed to be completely irrelevant here. So why bother? Plus, I wanted to be known as a lawyer, not a gay lawyer. Continue reading “Why?”
By John M. Benjamin and Tanya Chadha
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is a hot topic for the vast majority of employers. The benefits of a diverse workforce in today’s society are undeniable both in terms of financial performance and a more integrated workforce.
In the UK, there are no legislative requirements for employing a diverse workforce but many organisations have D&I high on their agendas nonetheless. D&I is no longer a talking point reserved exclusively for “behind closed door” human resources discussions. Whether this change has been driven by a moral obligation to “do the right thing” or the ever increasing socio-economic inequalities within diverse communities, the fact remains that employers and employees alike are now actively talking about D&I in the workplace. That is of course good news, but is talking about it enough? Continue reading “Is Legislative Intervention Required to Build an Ethnically Diverse Workforce in the UK?”
By Neville M. Bilimoria
All of the activity around last month’s storming of the U.S. Capitol and last year’s civil unrest over social justice and equality had me, and perhaps everyone else, taking a step back. It made me wonder about our society in these difficult times. You see, the Capitol siege and the civil unrest from last year, both had something in common: they both were examples of a society missing basic principles of respect for human beings, and the basic principles of human decency.
In America, when there is a difference of opinion, or a debate of issues or political sides, we do not traditionally see people violently erupting out of anger, attacking people’s families, or knocking down doors and windows to win the debate. With intellectual discussion and debate, there exists a certain amount of decorum, through an academic pursuit, oft and times with spirited excitement on all sides that comes with a proper oratorical debate. But the people that stormed the Capitol were filled with rage, armed with a false truth about the election and their way of life, and they took it upon themselves to somehow “save” the country by exerting violence instead of reasonable discourse. Continue reading “There’s something missing…..”
By Neville M. Bilimoria
Over the summer I wrote about historic milestones in diversity and inclusion that occurred in 2020 that could not be ignored.[i] Well, now, I think it is important to focus on yet another milestone in diversity that we need to cherish, and that needs to garner more attention despite the other, many distractions in 2020. After all, it has been too easy for us to wallow in the bad news of 2020, focusing mostly on the pandemic, racial and social injustice, and or even the fervor over the U.S. presidential campaigns earlier this year. Continue reading “Women Shatter Barriers Again, This Time in Major League Baseball: But We Need to Recognize the Milestone”
By Hector A. Chichoni
Many of us, Latino members of the legal profession, just like anyone else, have different reasons as to why we decided to go to law school. However, for us the decision to become lawyers has always included a deep desire of being involved in work that helped improve our community and our people. For some, this desire has led them to work in the more “traditional” ways by pursuing and advocating for social justice, or in public defense, or in community advocacy to promote, protect, defend, and enhance our community. Continue reading “Celebrating Our Hispanic-Latino Heritage: Perspectives on Using Our Legal Skills to Promote, Protect, Defend, and Enhance Community Culture and Values in Difficult Times”
By Miguel A. Quintana
With its vast territory and with millions of people immigrating over the past centuries, the United States is a culturally diverse country. One of the largest groups that has immigrated to the United States is that of the Hispanic-Latino group, which refers to those coming from Latin American countries.
In recent times, the United States has witnessed an increment of Hispanic-Latino immigrants. Consequently, the Hispanic-Latino culture has continued to grow in this country, and it has become one of the largest groups across its territory. Continue reading “Celebrating our Hispanic-Latino Heritage: Perspectives on Using our Legal Skills to Promote, Protect, Defend, and Enhance Community Culture and Values in Difficult Times”