Celebrate LGBT Pride 2017 with a new book: “Beyond the Rainbow” by Jenn T. Grace

Jenn T. Grace, author of “Beyond the Rainbow” and three other LGBT-themed business marketing books

Check out Jenn’s Amazon.com page and order her book after reading this blog!

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This month, one of the world’s leading LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) marketing experts, who I have known for over 5 years, has released her fourth book, “Beyond the Rainbow,” which ties together much of her previous knowledge to present a holistic approach to maximizing effectiveness within the LGBT market place.

After reading an early version, I provided this short summary review, “From being IBM’s Global Corporate LGBT Diversity Manager to now running my own boutique diversity consulting firm, I get the importance of understanding both the LGBTQ marketplace and workplace. Jenn T. Grace’s latest book, “Beyond the Rainbow,” which uniquely combines practical business strategies and poignant personal stories, is the ideal read for business leaders from small entrepreneurships up to Fortune 500 global mega-companies for launching or growing their LGBTQ marketing efforts.”

What is so special about this book is that it is quite interesting and fascinating. Instead of presenting a bunch of dry facts and strategies, Jenn shares much of her journey as an LGBT professional and marketing guru with interspersed stories and experiences that make you want to turn to the next page.

Celebrate LGBT Pride Month by buying and reading Jenn T. Grace’s latest book!

Some of the key principles in the book (and do buy it so you can read all the details) include:

• The importance of assuring that your motivation for reaching out to the LGBT market are good and that you back up your sales efforts with personal actions and business strategies that are sincere and authentic.

• The importance of allies, and that allies too can lead efforts to sell to and engage the LGBT market.

• There is a respectful way in which to engage the fast growing transgender community. The book provides a good primer on terms and definitions within the trans area.

• The importance of all people in an organization being trained and knowing how to respectfully interact with LGBT people. (My recent blog “Three Key Lessons from a Diversity Mishap” reinforces this key point.)

• Finally, with the recent sting of the killings at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Jenn addresses dealing with adversity and the importance of supporting a community in times of tragedy.

So get your copy today! Link to Jenn’s page on Amazon.

Georgia “Religious Freedom Bill” discriminates against LGBT people and hurts businesses – Possible Scenarios

A hospital admittance clerk could claim "religious objections" and refuse to admit one of these women who is covered under her spouse's health insurance.

A hospital admittance clerk could claim “religious objections” and refuse to admit one of these women who is covered under her spouse’s health insurance.

This blog examines the discriminatory harm that can occur if Georgia if this bill becomes law with some possible real scenarios. And here is a link to use if you want to take some action after reading this blog.

NOTE: LGBT is the abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender

On March 29, 2016, I have been invited to be a workshop presenter at the annual Atlanta SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) conference. My workshop title is “The Compelling Business Rationale for LGBT Diversity.” I have often presented this workshop throughout the southern USA, including in my home state of North Carolina, using the title, “LGBT Diversity – the New Diversity Initiative for the New South.” However, it seems some state legislatures don’t get this message and want to regress back to the “good old days” of discrimination and exclusion; and it is within this backdrop that I travel to Georgia later this month.

What started as Georgia House Bill 757 “Pastor Protection Act,” which would have enabled religious leaders to refuse to perform same-sex marriages, has been drastically modified and expanded by the Georgia State Senate in their recently passed Senate Bill 284. (Link to bill text.) It would now “prohibit discriminatory action against a person who believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such marriage.”

What does this new language now mean? Simply anybody in any capacity can refuse to serve or provide benefits to LGBT people without penalty. Here are some examples of what could happen – sure, they may seem a little extreme but they are certainly possible within the realm of this proposed law.

Scenario 1: A seriously ill woman is taken to the hospital and covered under her lesbian’s wife’s insurance policy. The admittance clerk could refuse to check her in, saying that admitting a person covered under her same-gender spouses’ insurance violates her religious belief. Meanwhile, while the hospital sorts this out or finds another admittance clerk, the ill woman languishes without needed medical services.

A policeman could claim "religious freedom" to refuse to assist a victim of "gay bashing."

A policeman could claim “religious freedom” to refuse to assist a victim of “gay bashing.”

Scenario 2: Two young men who just left a gay bar are attacked by a group of five thugs with baseball bats. The first policeman dispatched to the scene realizes that the two guys leaving the gay bar are more than likely a gay couple or boyfriends and believes they deserved to be beat up since they are violating “God’s law.” He lets the attack continue, and under this new law, he is protected.

Scenario 3: A manager in a large multi-national corporation with offices in Georgia has an employee with a same-gender spouse. Company policy states that a person can have up to an extra week of paid personal leave to be with their spouse or significant other during a catastrophic illness or serious operation. This manager with “sincerely held religious beliefs” refuses to provide the time off to his employee. The company cannot take action against this manager. Now the word of this episode has spread nationwide on social media, and the company is having a difficult time getting needed talent to transfer to open positions in Georgia.

Already several businesses in Georgia, including the huge multi-national corporation Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, AT&T, Home Depot and others have spoken out against this business-harming regressive bill. I urge all fair-minded and business-oriented people, companies and organizations to continue to oppose this discriminatory revised bill as it heads back to Georgia House for a re-vote.