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The Corporate View: ENDA is the floor — not the ceiling

Although highly unlikely that anything substantively pro LGBT equality will be considered in the next two years — and ENDA probably won't see the light of day — it's important to remember that ENDA only tackles the base issue of LGBT-workplace inclusion.

Over the last decade, the business community has made tremendous strides in implementing LGBT-inclusive policies and practices — over and beyond just "non-discrimination".  You need only look at the latest HRC Corporate Equality Index report to see that Corporate America is far ahead of our political leaders. 

Marriage-equality aside, the public (in poll after poll) comes down on the side of non-discrimination.  When Ronald Reagan spoke out against job discrimination in the Briggs Initiative in 1978, it was a moment of political courage.  And while today's GOP is more likely to tolerate the homophobic rantings of Jim Demint, they represent a continuously shrinking base.

On the other hand, many Democrats — who are almost perfunctory in checking the box for LGBT workplace equality — rarely show any political courage at all unless "all signs point to success".  The exceptions have to fight through inertia and political homophobia on issue after issue — even though supporting LGBT equality is seen as politically neutral or positive by the electorate.

Indeed, were it not for rank trans & homophobia from the right and political trans & homophobia from the center and left, ENDA — on its face — should be an easy win.

Why has the general public moved so rapidly over the last 20-25 years?

I come back to the Corporate America — where the business case for LGBT-inclusive workplace policies and practices has been made… and the wherewithall to make it happen is nearly universally viewed as a positive factor in the bottom line.

Over the next several diary posts, I will be sharing more insights into "the corporate view".

For the record, I am not a plant or employee of HRC.  I am a cisgender, middle-aged, white male.  I'm currently the co-Chair of Out & Equal Houston, and formerly the President of Chevron's global PRIDE Employee Network — where (during my tenure) I helped get the company to implement trans-inclusive non-discrimination policies, authored the company's transgender guidebook, and garner Chevron's endorsement of a fully inclusive ENDA.

The materials and data I will be sharing come from my own files over the last 15 years and public records — as well as data from HRC, various Out & Equal Workplace Summit workshops and resources garnered from networking.

Something to chew on prior to my next diary post:

20 Steps to an "Out & Equal Workplace"


  • Include sexual orientation in global non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
  • Include gender identity and expression in global non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
  • Recognize same-sex couples and their families with full, equal access to all company benefits.
  • Ensure that global health coverage includes complete health benefits for transgender employees.


  • Establish and support LGBT employee resource groups.
  • Recruit, hire, and offer mentoring to LGBT employees
  • Provide leadership development experiences specifically for LGBT employees.
  • Track recruitment and career development metrics for LGBT employees who choose to self identify.


  • Provide diversity training with specific reference to LGBT issues – for all employees.
  • Use anonymous climate surveys to measure effectiveness of LGBT diversity policies and programs.
  • Include LGBT diversity objectives in management performance goals.
  • Communicate routinely to all employees about how the organization supports its LGBT workforce.


  • Support nonprofit groups working for LGBT equality.
  • Sponsor and encourage visible participation in LGBT cultural events.
  • Include LGBT images in marketing and advertising strategies.
  • Include LGBT owned businesses in supplier diversity program objectives.


  • Be a visible role model for LGBT workplace equality in the community.
  • Support public policy efforts that protect LGBT workplace equality.
  • Oppose actively any attempts that would limit or restrict LGBT workplace equality.
  • Share leading practices on LGBT workplace equality by supporting Out & Equal or the workplace equality organization of your choice!
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Left of center Houstonian working in the energy industry and in his spare time on LGBT equality. Current co-Chair of Out & Equal Houston, a regional affliate of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.