Posts Tagged 'Out and Equal'

Advocacy Groups Seek U.S. Travel Ban Against Gambian President

Obama Jammeh White HouseRepost from the Washington Blade

More than a dozen LGBT advocacy groups on Friday called upon the Obama administration ban Gambian officials responsible for human rights abuses from entering the U.S.

The Human Rights Campaign, the Council for Global Equality, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Human Rights First, GLAAD, the National LGBTQ Task Force, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Global Justice Institute with the Metropolitan Community Churches, the National Center for Transgender Equality, Out and Equal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in a letter urged the White House to institute a visa ban on Gambian President Yahya Jammeh and other “key Gambian officials” who “have promoted discriminatory laws and who are responsible for grave human rights abuses.” The groups also called upon the Obama administration to freeze Jammeh’s U.S. assets that include a multi-million dollar home in Potomac, Md.

“It is not too late for the United States to send President Jammeh and his regime a clear and unequivocal message: human rights violations will not be tolerated and the U.S. government will respond with actions, as well as with strong condemnation,” reads the letter. “It is crucial that the United States take concrete action whenever countries enact discriminatory laws, and the Gambia should be no exception.” Continue Reading

Dignity For All: Reactions from LGBT and Human Rights Organizations

Repost from The Office of Public Engagement

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton articulated the first-ever U.S. Government strategy to direct all federal agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.

These actions represent a continuation of the Obama Administration’s commitment to safety, justice, and equality for LGBT people everywhere. President Obama expressed this commitment earlier this year at the United Nations General Assembly, when he said “No country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.” And since January 2009, Secretary Clinton has strongly and consistently championed a comprehensive human rights agenda — one that specifically includes the protection of LGBT people. Continue reading ‘Dignity For All: Reactions from LGBT and Human Rights Organizations’

News from the Council for Global Equality

Read the November 2010 newsletter from the Council for Global Equality.

We’ve been busy this fall promoting a U.S. foreign policy inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. I hope you’ll read more about our work and join us in promoting global equality today.

  • Council Celebrates Two Years of Advocacy
  • Council Meets with Under Secretary of State Maria Otero
  • US Record on LGBT Rights Reviewed at UN Human Rights Council
  • Council Facilitates Amsterdam Summit of National LGBT Groups
  • Council Raises LGBT Hate Crimes and Discrimination at Human Rights Conference in Warsaw
  • Are Multinational Corporations Caring More About Their LGBT Employees Around the World?

Are Multinational Corporations Caring More About Their LGBT Employees Around the World?

With a record number of global-themed workshops, this year’s out and equal summit marked rising concern for corporate America’s attention to equality in the workplace abroad. Fourteen sessions—ranging from corporate equality in Hong Kong, India, and London to helping employee resource group leaders extend their memberships globally—became known as the “international track” at this year’s Summit. Some of this growing attention to global issues may be simply the fact that so many employee resource groups have accomplished their main task of securing equal benefits in the workplace here in the United States, and are looking for a new issue to tackle. But others at the Summit seemed to believe that corporations are preparing for the upturn in the economy and redoubling their efforts to retain and recruit the best talent. The talent argument is the number one business case for equal workplaces for LGBT people here and abroad.

The Council for Global Equality facilitated one information-rich workshop on expanding equality in the global workplace, which can be viewed here. The most recent global equality findings from the Human Right Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) were analyzed at this session. Although not part of how HRC currently scores corporations, the annual CEI collects information from over 600 American corporations about their policies and practices in overseas operations. Of the U.S.-based multinational corporations, only 54% currently extend their benefits to same-sex partners in all locations around the world. And only 52% have both sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies globally. Clearly, our collective work is not done.

Many of the questions that were raised in the “international track” were from employees in search of policy examples and best practical stories from other companies (often their own competitors) about how to overcome the challenges of becoming fully equal workplaces. For example, a company seeking to extend their “global” equality provisions to the real practice of equal benefits provision might need to convince a third-party insurance provider in a foreign country to cover same-sex partners.

Stephen Golden from Goldman Sachs gave a wonderful example of that company leaning hard on insurance providers in Japan to extend their health coverage to same-sex partners, which had a trickle-out effect on the entire financial services industry. The acts of one courageous company can truly impact LGBT employees in an entire sector or country. Other stories were more sobering, such as a lesbian employee of a major energy-sector company arriving in China to relocate with her partner, only to have the same-sex partner turned away at the border by Chinese immigration authorities.

While there are still many unmet challenges on the road to improve the workplaces for LGBT employees globally, the tone of this year’s Summit was optimistic and dynamic. The trend is clearly heading towards safer and more equal working environments for all employees everywhere. And with the increasing and combined efforts of employee group leadership, diversity and human resource management, Senior Executives and CEOs, as well as outside advocates and watchdog groups, we can help ensure that Corporate America stands for equality and fairness for LGBT people abroad.

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