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 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”