Global Pulse on LGBTQ+ Equality: Vol. 1. Issue 2
Weekly Roundup, February 25th, 2021

Welcome to the second edition of my weekly equality news digest, Global Pulse on LGBTQ+ Equality, where I share important news, updates, and commentary about the LGBTQ+ equality movement globally.

Read Global Pulse on Equality: Vol. 1, Issue 1 here.

US LGBTQ+ Equality In the News:

Numbers: a record 5.6% of Americans self-identify as LGBTQ+ in a Gallup survey. This felt like it was all the news media talked about this week: the Washington Post titled “1 in 6 Gen Z adults are LGBT” while The Guardian celebrated a “New record as estimated 18m Americans identify as LGBTQ”.

The Equality Act. I guess conservative politicians did not read the news this week… The House voted on the Equality Act on Thursday and what should have been a unanimous vote in an ideal vote ended up being divisive. I published a post yesterday that explored the history of the Equality Act and the changes in this latest iteration. The lack of bipartisan support for the legislation is a sign of the intense polarization of American politics and raises the question can private sector support bridge the “cultural gap” on LGBTQ+ gap in the United States?

Global Pulse on Equality Update: what I do with my days:

Singapore is back on our radar screen and not for good reasons. A few weeks ago, the Government arrested three demonstrators who were protesting the plight of transgender students. We also heard of two gay ex-pat businessmen who left Singapore recently because their visas were not renewed on the basis of their sexual orientation and engagement with one of our local partner organizations PinkDot. In the coming weeks we will convene a small-group discussion with interested member firms on “Singapore: time of progress or time of backlash” – contact info@outleadership.com if you are interested in joining.

Turkey. France 24 shone a spotlight on the embattled Turkish LGBTQ+ community. Turkish President Erdogan has increased the pressure on LGBTQ+ citizens using one of the oldest political tricks, “scapegoating the minority”. The explanation could be that Erdogan’s son-in-law, also former Minister of Finance, had to resign abruptly several months ago after allegedly costing the nation more than $100 billion in reserves. Unfortunately, avenues for progress are few and for many LGBTQ+ Turkish youth, it means emigration remains their only choice.

LGBTQ+ Politics: Identity, Voice, Policy. On Wednesday this week, I spoke to Graduate Students in that Princeton class of Professor Andrew Reynolds, author of The Children of Harvey Milk: How LGBTQ Politician changed the World. My topic was of course representation and why it matters in every single arena of power. I reflected on my years at the World Bank and the UN and why the absence of openly LGBTQ+ leadership in multilateral institutions results in a major obstacle to progress.

Trade policy and LGBTQ+ rights. Read this interesting proposal in The Advocate to add Trade as a component of the Biden foreign policy and diplomatic efforts to promote human rights of LGBTQ+ rights. Trade negotiations can have human rights dimensions.

Stuffies meeting. On the heel of a call with a very prominent investment management meeting, I had an important meeting at home. Check it out!

News from our global network of member firms:

Member firm Bloomberg is hosting its Annual Equality Summit “From Words to Action” March 9:00am ET. Check out the speakers and program here.

Our non-profit partners:

Our friends at Human Rights Watch published a key piece on Poland this week. The EU is not only a common market, but it also shares common values and as Graeme Reid points out in this press release Poland has been breaching its EU obligations over women & LGBTQ+ rights. The Commission needs to take legal action – an infringement procedure – against Poland. Also from Graeme read this: Global Trends in LGBT Rights During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Also as a nice break – watch this great video – a clip about a same-sex relationship view from the point of view of …meals

Call to Action

There is still time for your company to express support on social media for the Equality Act. Here is a possible tweet:

“We thank the legislators that voted for the #EqualityAct on Wednesday and the millions of LGBTQ+ people and their allies who championed this bill. Now, it’s the Senate’s turn to vote on the #EqualityAct.@outleadership”

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