Welcome to the eighth edition of my weekly equality news digest, Global Pulse on Equality, where I share important news, updates, and commentary about the LGBTQ+ equality movement globally.
Read last week’s Global Pulse on Equality: Vol. 1, Issue 7 here
US LGBTQ+ Equality in the News:
The “business case” versus anti-trans bills: round II. The business and economic case for LGBTQ+ equality finds itself again at the center of the recent movement on the 82 anti-trans bills pending in USA local legislatures. Tennessee Governor Lee, as an example, was on the hot seat when he addressed the annual meeting of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday. Our readout on the vulnerability of the state’s economy to reputational damage differs from his (see our Tennessee State Business Brief here).
Plotting our next steps. OL is hosting a call with leaders in the response to the state bills on April 13th what more we can be doing to unleash the power of business leadership to prevent the bad from becoming worse.
The North Carolina example. Last night I joined a briefing on NC which featured ACLU, Equality North Carolina Equality and CSE. Ultimately the most important message was that “even the introduction of these bills is harmful to the community” – a reminder, if you can, to express personal support to trans friends and colleagues and support the work the Trevor Project is doing (donate here) which is a lifeline in times like these.
Georgia and the litmus test of corporate engagement on social values. At Out Leadership we believe corporations have an important role to play on social issues. The recent controversy over Major League Baseball (MLB) moving the All-Star game out of Georgia is fascinating (The Vox take is well worth reading). Individuals in America, and increasingly other parts of the world, find agency as consumers, employees and shareholders which they don’t in the democratic process. In this context, is no point in lamenting corporations being pulled into social issues: it is an ineluctable trend.
Finally, Caitlyn Jenner is reportedly eyeing a run for California Governor. That would be a first trans Governor and a republican one.
Celebrating 20 Years of The Williams Institute. Join us on April 29 at 7:30 p.m. EST when the Williams Institute welcomes many of our friends for a discussion on President Biden’s First 100 Days when it relates to LGBTQ rights, racial equity, and reproductive justice. This special event is part of the celebrating 20 years of The Williams Institute.
Global LGBTQ+ Equality News:
Hungary and Germany fight over anti-lgbt speech. There is a diplomatic row over football, anti-LGBT speech and a coach being sacked between Germany and Hungary to the point of the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs stepping in to denounce ”LGBT totalitarianism”. We were on a call this week with #WeAreOpen (Nyitottak vagyunk) – which is doing admirable work to leverage the power of the private sector to foster inclusion – to discuss the political narrative around LGBTQ+ issues and how it compares to Poland. The Hungarian conservatives are more opportunistic in their anti-LGBT engagement which could be both good or bad news ahead of the upcoming elections.
In the UK, the pandemic effect on LGBTQ+ teenagers. Even in a progressive society, the process of coming out to one’s parents as gay or trans remain a sensitive turning point. Let alone when you have no way to escape one’s home even to go to school. That is the pandemic effect and this article by the BBC discusses how schools can play a role in alleviating the feeling of loneliness of gay teens.
Talking about coming out: “Hidden kisses”. I watched this 2016 French TV movie about two 16 years old teenage boys coming out this week and she a tear or two. I wish there had been movies like this in 1994. I also felt shocked being gay remains such an issue in high school and at home today. A recommendation for your week-end (available on on Amazon Prime).
And finally, my April Fools’ post, if you did not read it, you missed out.