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It loosely began with the end of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in the military. Congress took a historic step to erase the lines of hate and discrimination against the LGBT community. Followed thereafter by several states that passed laws recognizing same-sex marriages. Keep in mind that in 29 states it is still perfectly legal to fine and or imprison someone because they are gay. In 34 states you can legally fire someone based on their gender identity according to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign.

The bottom line is that safe workplaces and safe work environments are not guaranteed for LGBT people in many states. The LGBT community needs the same workplace safeguards as anyone else, just the same as safe sidewalks, safe schoolyards, and safe neighborhoods. There needs to be universal and comprehensive nationwide protection of the civil rights of LGBT people in all 50 states. LGBT veterans can be found in every state in the union, no matter how red the state is, it would be a shame and bring national outrage to fire one of these protectors of our freedoms because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is equally as shameful that people need to leverage this level of national service just to keep their jobs regardless of their association with the LGBT community. Unfortunately, regardless of their service they are still at risk and the law may not be on their side.

How your company can invite and increase diversity and inclusion
Many readers work for corporations both large and small. Today, I am talking directly to you. I am asking you to use your influence within your company to push the political argument in the right direction. If you need a basic argument, tell the company leaders that this is simply about increased productivity, better customer service, brand loyalty and a higher and more stable market share. It’s about building a better relationship with the LGBT community and their allies, who combined make up a huge percentage of the people you call employees, potential employees, customers, and those you would like to call customers.  Send a clear and strong message that it makes good business sense to put an end to LGBT discrimination.  It is in the best interest of shareholders, customers, and the long-term survival of the company for corporate leaders to immediately make this concept a reality in all 50 states.

Now is the time! We have openly gay people sacrificing their lives for our country. We should follow the lead of the military to across the board put an end to this senseless discrimination of the LGBT community and move forward together. The bottom line is that LGBT human and civil rights do not hamper or invade the rights of any other group. They are aligned and alive in the logical progression of our American Revolution, which is alive and well.

The bottom line:  Lets finish the job.

Tonie Snell is the CEO and Chief Job Mingler for 925HIRE, LLC. 925HIRE is a full-service staffing firm dedicated to a diverse and equitable workplace. Specializing in building culturally diverse expert staffing and training solutions throughout the United States.

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