by Brianna Nelson | 2012 presented some of Out & Equal’s most exciting and successful moments in our movement toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality. Not only did we pre-release our second book From Closet to Corner Office: Out & Equal at Work, but we also held the first Global LGBT Workplace Summit. We celebrated new hires for the organization’s leadership team and community empowerment, and we persevered through Superstorm Sandy to witness yet another fabulous Annual Workplace Summit.
Beyond Out & Equal’s own workplace, the broader LGBT community experienced hugely significant steps toward equality in and out of the office this year. Here are just a few highlights:
- In the United States, the year started off with a local success for Baltimore County, Maryland, as the County Council passed a bill prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
- In May United States Vice-President Joe Biden voiced his support for marriage equality, and President Barack Obama soon followed suit, becoming the first sitting US president to publicly support marriage equality.
- During the same month President of Moldova Nicolae Timofti signed into law a bill that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment.
- In early July, just days before Out & Equal hosted our first Global Summit, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced that marriage and adoption for same-sex couples in France will be a reality in the first semester of 2013.
- Google’s head of Diversity, Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, announced the company’s launch of the “Legalize Love” campaign in support of marriage equality at the Out & Equal Global LGBT Workplace Summit. And the company received an Outie! Award for Workplace Excellence.
- This September the one year anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” passed without any negative impact on military morale, and Out & Equal presented an Outie! Award to OutServe for their workplace equality endeavors with the U.S. Department of Defense.
- During the November United States elections we saw a number of firsts for the LGBT community in government, including: Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay person elected to Senate; Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual person elected to congress; and Stacie Laughton, the first openly transgender person elected to any American state legislature when she won a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
- And just in time for the December holidays, the Supreme Court decided to take on cases determining the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
We have much to look back on with pride. Out & Equal will continue working toward a world where no one has to choose between the career they love, and the person they love. As Brigadier General Tammy Smith said during her keynote speech at the 2012 Out & Equal Workplace Summit: “There will be bumps in the road, but we’re moving in the right direction… so do not stop; don’t even slow down on creating inclusive workplaces.”
Here’s to an Out & Equal 2013, with no sign of slowing down.
Help us maintain our momentum. And add to the 2012 highlights via comment below.