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The same week the Supreme Court dismantled affirmative action in university admissions, it also made a detrimental decision about LGBTQ rights. In the case 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Christian graphic artist from Colorado who did not want to design wedding websites for same-sex couples. The Court decided that the First Amendment prohibits the state from forcing the designer to express messages that are contrary to her religious beliefs. In reading her dissenting option aloud in the Court, Justice Sotomayer said:

“Today, the Court, for the first time in its history, grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class.”

The Court’s decision is just the latest in the slew of anti-LGBTQ legislation that aims to restrict the rights, freedoms, and fair treatment of LGBTQ+ people. Companies that want to continue to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion should ensure that they are proactive and clear about their support for LGBTQ communities and rights.

  • Audit your company’s offerings to ensure that your products and services do not exclude LGBTQ communities. For example, assess whether your products cater only to binary genders and what opportunities there are to recognize and serve all genders on the spectrum.
  • Partner with other businesses that align with your advocacy of LGBTQ rights. To reflect your commitments and values, have discussions with current and new business vendors and partners about their commitment to DEI and LGBTQ rights specifically. Consider preferring partners that align with your DEI goals.
  • Create spaces where LGBTQ employees and allies can discuss their experiences and feelings. If you have an LGBTQ employee resource group, ask them what kind of discussion spaces they would like to create and what actions they’d like the company leaders to take.
  • Educate employees on LGBTQ-related issues, such as gender pronouns.  Ensure employees have the language to have discussions or ask questions and emphasize why the company supports LGBTQ communities.
  • Ensure that your LGBTQ support goes beyond the surface. Assess your company’s culture and making sure that any statements you share externally reflect your internal progress as a company.
  • Explore how to use your individual and corporate power and privilege to advocate for LGBTQ+ communities.

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The Editor

Ngozi Okeh is an experienced leader with a history of driving efforts to conceptualize, define, assess and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as strategic business processes. Ngozi is currently the Director of DEI at a leading marketing technology company where she develops and executes enterprise-wide DEI initiatives through rigorous strategic planning efforts, community partnerships, leadership collaboration, strategy evaluation, and careful management of communication and buy-in as well as policies and procedures.  Previously, she worked at an independent mortgage bank, where… View Profile