June is Pride Month. What is Pride Month you may ask? Pride Month is a month long celebration of the those people in our lives and our communities who do not identify as conventionally hetrosexual, and includes a very broadly diverse group of across all self-identities in the LGBTQIA world. It is a celebration of diversity, and a call to continue the acceptance of all people in our world regardless of their sexual identity.
I have had the opportunity to attend Pride events, including my very first one two years ago in London, England. The Pride Parade in London was my first and came about when I took our family to London to celebrate my father’s 80th birthday. Shortly before we were to leave for London, our middle son, Alec, whom almost all of you know, formally came out to us. He told us that he wanted to attend the Pride in London Parade during our trip and we all expressed our support and the desire to go with him. At that moment, Alec had not yet told his grandfather that he was gay. He wasn’t sure what to do. With our counsel, Alec ultimately called his grandfather, went to dinner with him, and told him. Steve was of course, incredibly supportive, and was the first person to tell Alec that no matter what he was going to Pride in London with him. Here’s a picture of them that day in London:
At DLC, I personally take great satisfaction in our inclusive culture for people from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, places, religions, genders, and sexual orientation. As it was so many times in our development, it was Steve leading by example that helped show us the way. Our commitment is that everyone on the team feels equally comfortable as a team member and that they are all treated similarly no matter how different we may be from each other. Our recent Great Place to Work Survey results supported what I’ve long felt to be true; that people from diverse backgrounds who are at DLC believe strongly that it is a welcoming, safe, and equal place for people from all walks of life. If anyone – ever – thinks that we are slipping in this area, please come to me immediately. I will not allow our commitment in this area to waver.
In my lifetime, we have seen America make great strides in equality. In my last CEO Blog, I covered some of those strides that were enabled by the great Dr. Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement that began in the 60s under his leadership. As we all know, however, there is much left to do in America to create a truly equal society for all. To encourage and support America continuing to improve in how all people are treated, DLC United supports specific charities designed to fight the remaining inequities in our country. To remind you, we currently support three great charities: The Southern Poverty Law Center, The Anti-Defamation League, and The Human Rights Campaign.
I want to highlight two recent events pertaining to equality in America. As you may know, many of the actions of the current administration with respect to equal rights for all have been – in my personal view – reprehensible. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled on the Colorado Wedding Cake case. I thought you might find The Human Rights Campaign’s efforts in that case, and their analysis of its outcome interesting. Here’s a video from their website on the case, its’ outcome and its’ implications for equality in America:
Finally, for all of the recent attacks on equality and civil liberties in America under the Trump Administration, I think it’s important to note the capacity of people to change and evolve, and become more accepting. Over his tenure in the Senate, Senator Orrin Hatch, the senior senator from Utah had expressed some truly awful things about people who view their sexuality differently. However, this week Senator Hatch took to the Senate floor and gave a speech that surprised many.
Here’s a link to his speech:
While I’m in no way supporting Senator Hatch or his overall record on civil rights and equality for all Americas; I do take note of his efforts to evolve and see things differently than he did when he was younger. His newfound acceptance and support for LBGTQ people shows that anyone has the capacity for change if they want to. His incremental enlightenment at a time when both the President and the Vice President refuse to even recognize Pride Month especially his challenging the President on his attempt to ban transgender troops in the military gives me some hope for change. If someone with as historically dogmatic views as Senator Hatch can change at least to some degree, there is hope that the fight for equality in America can survive the current administration.
We live in complicated times, and the recent developments in our country that initially prompted us to support key groups in an effort to promote equality in America have not abated. We will continue to support all three charities, and I hope we will look for ways to grow our involvement further.
While Pride weekend in Buffalo and Washington DC have already occurred, there are Pride events scheduled in the remaining DLC hometowns. Chicago will celebrate both this weekend (16-17) and again on June 24th. New York celebrates this coming week culminating with the Pride March on June 24th. Dallas’ events are scheduled around a concert on June 29th. Atlanta celebrates Pride in October from the 12th to the 14th. I hope people can take the opportunity to attend or support an event if they so desire.