Five Examples of LGBTQ+ Equality – It’s equal rights, not special rights!

Allowing same gender couples to marry does not infringe in any way on heterosexual marriage.

In recognition of June being LGBTQ Pride Month, I am republishing a popular blog I wrote late last year. I do know this blog could be viewed as satire, especially since I am more often a serious workplace diversity and inclusion consultant and trainer.

Still need a speaker for your LGBTQ+ Pride Month event? I am available to speak on a variety of LGBTQ+ topics, plus see other opportunities at the bottom of this blog.

In one previous blog, “Why So Much Hate,” I wrote about the hateful comments I receive on social media after blogging about topics such as Islamophobia, LGBTQ equality and Racism. In the LGBT area, I am shocked about some of the people commenting about LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) people clamoring for “special rights.”

In November, when I published a blog about an LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Training toolkit that recently launched in North Carolina, one woman commented that “this crap should not be allowed in our schools or at work” and that she is fed up with “gays wanting special rights.” When I tried to engage her in a conversation about areas where LGBT people are not treated equally, she accused me of harassing her and reported me to Facebook! I continue to be shocked at how many people still label LGBTQ+ people (or any marginalized group for that matter) seeking equal treatment being accused of wanting “special rights.”

I am hoping that those who continue to shout “special rights” read this with an open mind to sincerely understand the difference between equal rights and special rights.

Marriage: Equal Rights – people can marry the person they love, whether they are same gender, opposite gender or gender fluid. Special Rights – if we made marriage only available to same gender couples and no longer allowed heterosexuals to get married. I would love to have someone explain to me why allowing a same-gender couple to get married infringes on their rights.

Workplace Protections: Equal Rights – all people should be able to work if they are qualified and capable of doing their job, and not get fired simply because they are gay. Special Rights – if we passed a law that stated if a gay person and a straight person applied for a job, preference must be given to the gay person. If you are so afraid that a gay person is going to steal your job, work harder and update your skills.

Shouldn’t all kids … straight, gay and trans …. be able to get a quality education without being bullied?

Safety in our Schools: Equal Rights – All children, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or gender non-binary should be allowed to get a quality education without being bullied or having their issues not addressed by school administration. Special Rights – Establishing top-notch special schools exclusively for LGBTQ children only with the best teachers, facilities and equipment, and providing scholarships to top colleges only for LGBTQ students.

Safety on the Streets: Equal Rights – A gay couple should be able to walk down the street holding hands without being heckled or physically accosted. Special Rights – Passing a law that only same gender displays of public affection (PDA) are allowed and that heterosexuals are forbidden to hold hands or kiss in public.

Transgender people should have the right to use the restroom of their gender identity in peace.

Bathroom accessibility for transgender people. Equal Rights – all people should be permitted to use a public restroom that matches their gender identity and presentation. Special Rights – when a transgender person wants to use a restroom, everyone must immediately leave and wait until the trans person is finished.

I hope my readers get the drift here. LGBTQ people pay their taxes just like everyone else, and deserve equal treatment and respect under the law. We are just asking for equality without taking anything away from anybody else.

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Blog author Stan Kimer is a diversity consultant and trainer who handles all areas of workplace diversity and with a deep expertise in LGBT diversity strategy and training. Please explore the rest of my website and never hesitate to contact me to be your LGBTQ+ Pride Month speaker, to discuss diversity training for your organization, or pass my name onto your HR department.  [email protected]

Other opportunities coming up:

Webinar Tuesday June 9th at 12:00 Noon Eastern. Introduction to LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity co-facilitated by myself and Katherine Turner of Global Citizen, LLC. Link for agenda details and to enroll.

Free Webinar presented by Texas Diversity Council Wednesday June 10th at 1:00 PM Eastern. Stretch and Challenge Yourself – Emerging Topics in LGBTQ+ Diversity. Link for agenda and to enroll.

Wednesday, June 24. LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Webinar Clinic. Topic: Supporting Transgender and Gender Non-binary Employees, co-facilitated by myself and Katherine Turner of Global Citizen LLC. Link for details and to enroll.

COVID-19 Blog 4: Will corporate diversity initiatives go down the tubes during and after the pandemic?

Are your diversity initiatives going downhill during these trying times?

I really do have a fear that the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts across many organizations will be set back several years during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic. If DEI is truly a strategic initiative for organizations to thrive and grow into the future, why should things stop now?

In January, before all this COVID-19 stuff really started, I wrote a two part blog series:
Part 1 (Link): Huge Gaps in Diversity in Business Leadership – A Systemic Issue Needing a Systemic Approach
Part 2 (Link): Five Tactics to Address the System Issue of the Lack of Diverse Business Leaders

In Part 2, the 4th tactic I shared was “never letting up”. I shared that often executives see a little progress (“we now have an African-American in the c-Suite, women in management has gone up from 18% to 20%”) and then the budget gets cut and work stops. Then things will take their natural course and revert back to the old pattern. Dr. Vida Robertson, professor at the University of Houston, often states “you cannot take the foot of the gas or the vehicle will stop.” In this case, since it is an uphill battle, the car will go backwards once you take your foot off the gas!

Over the past 3 months, I have seen every in-person diversity training initiative I had scheduled between March and June cancelled, with little or no effort to reschedule or consider going web-based. In fact, even one 4-week webinar training series was cancelled since the organizers felt people would have too many other things to worry about instead of diversity.

My largest fear is that when we slowly reopen the country, that many corporate budgets will be slashed to try to turn out a decent annual profit statement, and diversity efforts will be one of the first items severely cut.

And then the ramifications could end up being:
• The predominately white male senior leadership will retain more of the leaders like themselves, impacting employment and promotion opportunities for under-represented minorities. And it wouldn’t be deliberate or mean-spirited, but simply unconscious bias taking its natural course.
• Diversity recruiting efforts may be cut resulting in less hires of qualified diverse candidates.
• Respectful workplace training would be cut, and some employees may revert back to old habits of forming non-diverse teams and making their diverse co-workers feel unwelcomed.
• Some companies may experience additional revenue drop as they fail to effectively sell and market to diverse customers.
• Philanthropic giving to diverse community organizations may be curtailed.

Interaction with diverse people may be less frequent during these days of social isolation.

Organizations need to realize that in challenging days, an increased focus on diversity, equity and inclusion is warranted. Tactics you may want to consider at this time include:

• Offering web-based DEI training to your employees, especially those who may have a decreased workload at this time and capacity to take some online trainings. In fact here is one being offered on June 9th: Introduction to LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity.  Options can include general offerings or having your own customized training.
• Doing some strategic work and planning and how you can advance DEI initiatives in a more virtual workplace.
• Encouraging diversity councils and employee resource groups to meet virtually during this time.
• Encouraging one-on-one virtual employee connections or mentoring relationships be formed with a focus on connecting with dissimilar people.

Embrace diversity even more during these challenging days!