From America They Came For Me

I will get around to writing some business related things here at some point, but for now – I am on a rant about LGB and being trans. And America (well parts of it).

OK actually this blog is about business too – and it is also about fairness and equality.

The UK Government have just issued advice about LGBT travelers to the USA. North Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi have all passed laws that make anti LGBT discrimination legal. Basically, someone can be refused service for being gay, lesbian or bi-sexual. In at least two of the states they are making it illegal for a trans person to use the toilet of their gender; with the definition is you have to use the bathroom based only on your birth gender.

Parts of America are going backwards – but business is watching, listening and responding to this very carefully.

These Are Your Friends, Family and Colleagues

Most people have a friend or a relative who is LGB – if you do not then maybe you need wake-up and smell the coffee. Because if people cannot be open about their sexuality around you then something is wrong. This is 2016 – you can love who you want, get over it.

Business knows that being LGBT “friendly” is not only good for business – but it is also good for their employees. Why would you want to send an LGBT employee to work in a place that actively decimates against them? You simply would not.

Taking Action

That is why Microsoft, Apple and Pfizer are trying to intervene with the governor of North Carolina around the new laws. Deutsche Bank and PayPal have shelved plans to expand their offices there.

At best if I visited these places I could be refused service in a restaurant or shop, and at worst if went to the toilet – I could be arrested and jailed.

Needless to say they are not top of my holiday destinations – nor should they be yours.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

These people are coming for your siblings, your cousins, your parents, your friends, and your colleagues – just because of who they love, or their gender identify. Do not tolerate it.

UK Government Advice – A Public Shaming

I am really impressed by the stance of the UK Government by issuing this advice so publicly. We should not tolerate discrimination from anyone, yes sometimes it is hard to get the balance right when we trade with nations and people who support discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, or disability,  or have terrible records on human rights. However, when a nation goes backwards, like these states in America have – we have to call them out.

The direction of travel always has to be forwards towards freedom and equality.

Inequality and discrimination needs to be challenged every time we see it or hear it – and we have to stand side by side together to win out against it.

Links and References

UK Travel Advice (newly update for LGBT for USA) – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa

LGBT Hotspots – http://ilga.org/

Corporates Taking Action – http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/25/the-corporate-fight-for-social-justice

Violence Against Trans People Condoned – https://lexiecannes.com/2016/04/15/sheriff-tells-laughing-crowd-hell-violently-harm-trans-people-and-im-gonna-make-the-news/

 

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