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 my last 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.”

Last month when I published a blog about an LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Training toolkit that will be launching in North Carolina in February, 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, he accused me of harassing her and reported me to Facebook!

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 fluid 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.

*   *   *   *   *

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 discuss diversity training for your organization, or pass my name onto your HR department.  [email protected]tConsulting.com

LGBT Pride Month – Five ideas for your organization to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall

With lots of useful links!

50 years ago on a weekend in late June in the Greenwich Village in New York City, a revolt took place that changed the course of history for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) people all over the world. Patrons of the Stonewall Tavern, led by several transgender women and drag queens stood up to unfair police brutality and stated that they would no longer let their human rights be unfairly trampled. Since that fateful night, most LGBT pride celebrations are held in late June.

This blog contains five suggestions for engaging your corporation or organization during June Pride Month, followed by a short history of major LGBT milestones in the US, starting with Stonewall 1969!

    Five ideas to recognize and celebrate LGBT Pride Month:

1) Bring me in to speak and train. I continue to offer myself as a nationally recognized LGBT diversity speaker and trainer for your employees, management training, or employee resource groups, with a broad range of 9 LGBT diversity workshops from the business oriented to the more lighthearted (including culture and history of LGBT in the US) to the more personal. In fact, why not invite me in for a day and I can do various meetings with HR leaders, managers, employees and your employee resource groups? Use this link to download my speaking packages that include topics and bio, or Email me at [email protected] to request the info.

2) Start a productive group dialogue around transgender people. Check out my recent blog, “Explore transgender diversity through a cool one-woman show,” about how JJ Marie Gufreda uses her edgy thought provoking show, including original music, to share experiences and to create open dialogue about transgender people.

3) Financially support the Pride in the Triangle’s LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Toolkit, which we hope to launch this summer if we can raise the rest of the funds soon. Even if you are not in the Triangle region of North Carolina, you can still support this project and send participants to our 2-day “Training of Trainers” to be held in our area.

4) Take an online crash course. Whether you just want to be a better ally to LGBTQ people, or want to create a better workplace, home, or organization for everyone, consider this online LGBTQ Diversity Training Crash Course (link) from one of my business associates, Sean Kofosky. This inexpensive yet valuable offering covers basic LGBTQ terminology / definitions,the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, ways anti-LGBTQ attitudes and behavior reach into many corners of society, and simple actions you can take to be an ALLY!

5) Make a contribution to your local LGBT Center. Google “LGBT Center” and find one in your city or town or nearby, and make a corporate contribution in honor of the Stonewall 50th anniversity. Or consider a similar contribution to your state’s LGBT Equality group.

The Stonewall Tavern, Circa 1969

    Very Short List of Selected Major Milestones

June 28 – 29, 1969: Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village, New York City

June, 1970: Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street; with simultaneous Gay Pride marches in Los Angeles and Chicago.

December, 1973: The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

1993: Minnesota became the first state to ban employment discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity when it passed its Human Rights Act.

October, 2002: The Human Rights Campaign introduces its Corporate Equality Index to measure corporate support of LGBT equality.

2009: Sexual orientation and gender identity added to US hate crime legislation.

June, 2015: The US Supreme Court rules for recognition of same-gender marriage in all 50 states.

June, 2016: President Obama announced the establishment of the Stonewall National Monument, a 7.7-acre site in Greenwich Village to be administered by the National Park Service.