Six Reasons (from 2017) to Stand Up for Workplace Equality in 2018

 

2017 was a year of both triumphs and setbacks for those seeking broader acceptance and protections for those who identify LGBTQ. Here are some of the major events from last year that have motivated Executive Pride members to fight even harder for workplace equality in 2018.

 

 

1. Department of Justice memo denies workplace protections for transgender employees.

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In early October, the Department of Justice issued a memo to federal prosecutors formally stating that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not apply to transgender individuals.


2. Lena Waithe wins Emmy for writing for a comedy series.

 

Photo Credit: Mpelaezs                                                      Photo Credit: Mpelaezs

Waithe won for co-writing an episode of Master of None titled “Thanksgiving” which focuses on her character’s coming out story. In her acceptance speech, Waithe proclaimed, “To my LGBTQIA family, I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different – those are our superpowers.”


3. Supreme Court refuses to hear LGBTQ job discrimination case.

 

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In mid-December, the Supreme Court refused to hear Jameka Evans’s discrimination lawsuit against her employer, Georgia Regional Hospital. Evans says she was eventually forced out of her job at the hospital for being gender-nonconforming and a lesbian.


4. Virginia voters elect Danica Roem to the Virginia House of Delegates 

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan                                               Photo Credit: Ted Eytan

Roem became the first openly transgender candidate elected to a state legislature in American history. In doing so, she unseated Bob Marshall, a 26-year member of the VA House of Delegates who just last year proposed a “Bathroom Bill” that would prohibit transgender individuals from using public bathrooms that correlate with the gender that they identify.


5. Record number of cities advance LGBTQ-friendly policies and practices.

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According to the Municipal Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Federation Institute, a record number of cities across the country advanced LGBTQ-friendly policies and practices. In 2017, 68 cities scored a 100% rating in the index for their laws, policies, benefits, and services.



6. Departments of Justice and Education rescind protections for transgender students.

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In February, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education withdrew previously issued guidelines for protecting transgender students – including a recommendation to allow students to use bathrooms of the gender that they identify.