Outten & Golden: Empowering Employees in the Workplace

New Study Confirms Overwhelming Support for LGBT Workplace Protections

October 27th, 2011 | Zack Ford

Zack FordResults from the 2010 Out & Equal Workplace Survey show this week that 78 percent of heterosexual adults agree that employees should be evaluated for their job performance, not their sexual orientation. In addition, 62 percent support providing equal benefits for all employees’ partners or spouses. Here are a few more key findings from the Out & Equal Workplace Survey:

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  • 66 percent of heterosexuals were neutral or disagreed that they’d be uncomfortable knowing a coworker was LGBT.
  • 61 percent of heterosexuals were neutral or disagreed that they’d be uncomfortable if their boss was LGBT.
  • Only 18 percent of respondents agreed it would be difficult to be openly LGBT in the workplace.
  • Only 44 percent of heterosexuals agreed that LGBT people are treated fairly and equally in the workplace.

These data match similar results from a Center for American Progress study released in June, which also found that 90 percent of Americans already think LGBT people are protected from workplace discrimination, even though in most states they are not. Given the overwhelming support for workplace protections — not to mention belief that they already exist — as well as the endorsement of both small businesses and large corporations, passing LGBT non-discrimination policies on both the state and national level should be a no-brainer. Not only do businesses benefit, but the protections allow both LGBT employees and their coworkers to flourish.

Nevertheless, Republican leadership continues to oppose LGBT equality in ways that hurt businesses. Michigan conservatives are trying to follow Tennessee’s atrocious example of banningmunicipalities from passing employment protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, GOP-led efforts to ban marriage equality in states like Minnesota and North Carolina, as well as at the national level, hurt businesses who strive to hire and retain talented and productive staff. Opposing LGBT equality is anti-business and anti-jobs, in addition to being completely out of touch with voters.

*Disclaimer: The opinions and views of this blog are the opinions of the author’s alone and not of Workplace Fairness.

This blog originally appeared on ThinkProgress on October 26, 2011. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Zack Ford is an LGBT researcher/blogger for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Prior to joining ThinkProgress, Zack blogged for two years at ZackFordBlogs.com with occasional cross-posts at Pam’s House Blend. He also co-hosts a popular LGBT-issues podcast calledQueer and Queerer with activist and performance artist Peterson Toscano. An accomplished pianist, Zack has a bachelor’s in Music Education from Ithaca College, where he served as student body president. His passion, however, is social justice education and advocacy, having completed a Master’s in Higher Education Student Affairs from Iowa State University and helped to found the Central Pennsylvania LGBT Aging Network. He’s originally (and proudly) from rural central Pennsylvania.

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