Anti-LGBTQ+ Company Policies

There’s no debate that anti-LGBTQ+ policies have significantly decreased, or almost disappeared, in the last few years as the community has made great strides in fighting for their rights. However, this is not to say the issue has been completely resolved.

“Nearly 1 in 10 LGBTQ people in the United States experienced workplace discrimination in the last year,” NBC News reports.
Whether this is a problem due to the company’s homophobic or transphobic beliefs, or because of the establishments’ specific practices at that location, it is something that desperately needs to be addressed. 22% of LGBTQ people live in poverty in the United States according to Williams Institute.

It’s not only an issue in the employment world, but it is also an issue in the consumer world, with businesses turning away LGBTQ+ customers for their identities. Currently, there is nothing to protect these people from the discrimination they face in these places. “There’s no federal law that explicitly allows people, based on their personal beliefs, to turn away same-sex couples or other classes of people, but there’s also no federal […] law that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in public accommodations, such as businesses,” NBC News says.

The Salvation Army is one example of a business with supposed anti-LGBTQ+ policies, or at least ideologies, supported by its past even though the company says they are not anti-LGBTQ+. “Time and time again, the organization denies having anti-gay bias, even though the paper trail documenting anti-gay stances goes back decades,” Vox says. Another popular, and commonly talked about, organization that donates to anti-LGBTQ+ charities is Chick-fil-a. In 2020, the company said they wanted to be more clear about who they were, but never said they’d stop donating to these charities.

“Chick-fil-A never explicitly said it would permanently stop donating to anti-gay groups or organizations that discriminate against LGBTQ people — it just said it was changing its philanthropic giving model,” Vox says. A poll taken of FHS students showed that 61.8% of the respondents had faced discrimination or knew someone that had faced discrimination in a place of business for their LGBTQ+ identity.
55% of respondents said someone they knew or themselves had been discriminated against by a place of business. 45% of the same group also said they had been treated differently by their employer for being LGBTQ+.

A few respondents chose to share stories about the experiences they, or others, have had in these situations.

“I identify as genderfluid and I go by they/them pronouns,” One respondent said. “I did an interview for a job and asked if I could be called [by] a different name and use different pronouns, other than the ones that were on my legal documents. The interview had gone very well up until that point and afterwards [the interviewer] was very rude and was quick to wrap up the interview. After contacting them again asking for any information about the spot, (which I was “guaranteed” to get before I’d mentioned the name & pronouns), they said I ‘wasn’t the right fit; and they’d ‘found someone else for the position’.”

Another talked about how they feel as though if they came out to their coworkers, they would be viewed differently.
“Lots of my coworkers talk about being gay in a negative way,” they said. “Although I haven’t been removed from my place of work for being [LGBTQ+], I can tell that if they knew I was gay, I would be treated differently. I once heard my managers talking about how “the gays” are responsible for HIV and other stuff like that.”

The country has made great progress in accepting and embracing those in the LGBTQ+ community, but it is clear that the business world, and maybe still our social worlds, have far to go. “We have much to be thankful for and need to encourage one another in [loving all people],” one respondent said.