Statement: Supporting our LGBTQIA+ staff, clients, and communityWritten by SAFE
The Supreme Court on Tuesday will consider whether federal law protects gay and transgender employees from discrimination. Regardless of decisions made, discrimination on any basis will not ever be part of what it means to work at SAFE.
The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in three cases, which address whether Title VII federal protections extend to sexual orientation and gender identity. These arguments may have large effects on the safety and well-being of LGBTQIA+ individuals and could have ramifications for many workplace issues regarding gender presentation for all people as they could effectively legalize the enforcement of gender norms (i.e., the idea that women must wear skirts in the office).
At SAFE, we are vigilant in making sure our employment and hiring practices are non-discriminatory. We will continue to uphold our LGBTQIA+ employees as well as our clients. We will continue to recognize that someone’s identity is beneficial, rather than detrimental, to the anti-violence work we do here together.
It may be worth considering at this time how LGBTQIA+ employees and clients may feel affected by the ongoing events in the Supreme Court. Federal protections for LGBTQIA+ identities have never been firmly established, and this is a particularly important moment in which LGBTQIA+ individuals may feel frightened or stressed by the ways their identity affects their safety and systems of support.
Seeing people who share your identity questioned in public arguments and media stories is an extremely stressful experience. While we can guarantee our best efforts to thwart discrimination in our own homes and offices, we can do little to protect our clients and employees from the stress these issues may cause in their lives outside of SAFE. These public arguments may have harmful effects on individuals whose identities are often the subject of discrimination, especially when seeking care services.
Kindness, support, empathy, acceptance, and understanding can go a long way toward helping people affected by recent news and regular discrimination. If you notice the people in your life feeling extra stressed because of public events like this, please seek out ways to listen and show love and support.
Awareness of issues like this occurring in the lives of LGBTQIA+ people makes us better providers and allies. This statement was made with consideration and input by SAFE’s LGBTQIA+ Task Force.