OutNEWS – Supreme Court Slashes LGBTQ+ Civil Rights

Against the backdrop of nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced by legislatures across the nation this year, today’s ruling continues to undermine the legal standing of hard-working LGBTQ+ people in the United States and is harmful to our nation’s economy.

Here are the facts:

  • This decision opens the door to blatant discrimination. Businesses are now entitled to advertise that they do not serve members of the LGBTQ+ community. Businesses could similarly deny service to people of any racial, religious, ethnic, or political background.
  • The ruling is out of step with the vast majority of businesses. The majority of Americans and businesses support LGBTQ+ people and their rights. 71% of Americans support same-sex relationships as of May 2023.
  • This decision will have devastating consequences for the American economy. Global companies will refuse to send their employees to the United States and employees will decline to travel here for business.
  • This decision is politically motivated by a right-wing activist court. The ruling betrays the storied legacy of the court by overturning 60 years of anti-discrimination rulings, from Loving v. Virginia to Obergefell v. Hodges.
  • The decision has no limiting principle on what constitutes creative speech — allowing any business to potentially justify a denial of services to a protected class. What services are excluded by this ruling? Are meals served in restaurants the creative speech of their chefs? Is your barista engaging in creative speech when they design your latte foam art? Where does the discrimination end?

As the world’s leading platform for multinational corporations to drive LGBTQ+ equality through business, we condemn the U.S. Supreme Court’s failure to protect LGBTQ+ consumers from discrimination. Today’s ruling will undoubtedly result in profound financial losses for American businesses as economic studies continually demonstrate that an unattractive business climate discourages investment, production, and talent development. Inequality costs every American, not only LGBTQ+ people, and harms local economies and our nation’s overall financial health. Therefore, the cost of today’s ruling can be calculated both in the increased inequality and discrimination LGBTQ+ people will face and the financial harm resulting from a nation that promotes inequality in a global marketplace.

Out Leadership remains committed to advancing LGBTQ+ equality in the business world and beyond. We will continue our work with global companies and industry leaders to foster inclusive environments that empower LGBTQ+ individuals to bring their authentic selves to work, and to drive positive change in society.

Show your support:

  • Proudly declare that your business is open to all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Continue and deepen your support of Out Leadership so we can continue our advocacy in the United States and around the world

Read Out Leadership’s Full Response

Pride to me isn’t about a month or even a movement, it’s about feeling empowered to be the best version of yourself without judgment or prejudice. Pride is about celebrating individuality and enabling each of us to own an identity that feels real and natural, and resonates with every particle of our mind, body, and soul.

I’m not a fan of labels. We’re all human beings, with unique outlooks and purposes, and with differences that are far more interesting than our similarities. We need to breathe life into one another’s passions and aspirations, not stifle them for fear of change or ‘otherness’.

As a recently retired athlete, I’m at a crossroads in my life. Everything I’ve known for 25 years is in flux. I’ve been part of a system, an institution, a structure that has defined pretty much every minute of my every day in some way. My goals as a rugby player and my commitment to representing my country drove my every decision. 

Now I’m forging a new and unknown path; one which, if I’m honest, brings with it uncertainty, confusion, and a decent dose of hesitation! All I know is that to navigate it successfully I need a purpose true to who I am and the right people around me who support me unconditionally, even when I’m not sure where I’m going or what I’m doing.

I’m a strong person and I have big ambitions to change the world for the better, but if I couldn’t be myself, if I were made to feel ashamed of my identity, then any anxiety I already feel over the challenge ahead would be amplified to the point of suffocation.

I’ve always felt ‘different’ but that doesn’t and will not define me. My difference is what lights the fire inside me that has always driven me to achieve the highest level, to help others, and to want to leave an imprint bigger than myself. 

What bothers me is when others project their version of ‘difference’ onto me — maybe because I’m a female who’s lost her hair due to alopecia or because of the muscles I’ve always needed to compete at the highest level of sport, maybe because I embrace all sides of my character and share them openly with everyone I meet.

I’ll never know what goes on in other people’s minds, but what I do know is that everyone has the right to feel proud of who they are. Corporate backing, parades, panels, and many other platforms that raise our voices during Pride are essential, but what’s most important is that all year round everyone has the right to be true to themselves and the freedom to change their corner of the world in a way that only they can.

Heather Fisher
Activist, Speaker & Olympic Rugby Player

Here’s what you need to know…



Commemorate London Pride with a recap of our 2023 Europe Summit!

Our most ambitious Europe Summit to date was a smashing success last April in London. Whether you were unable to attend or had the opportunity to participate, we are pleased to present the Europe Summit Post-Summit Report.

The report encapsulates the vibrant atmosphere, engaging discussions, prevailing themes, and valuable insights that unfolded during the summit. Read the report and see how Out Leadership is convening an amazing cohort of business leaders to harness the power of business to drive LGBTQ+ equality.

The Out Leadership Europe Summit 2023 was hosted and sponsored by:


Connect with other LGBTQ+ leaders and allies this Pride at the NEXUS Breakfast in London.

NEXUS is delighted to announce the Q3 NEXUS Breakfast, kindly hosted by PwC, on Thursday, July 13 from 8:00-10:00 AM GMT. The event will take place at PwC, located at 1 Embankment Place, London, WC2N 6RH, and will feature an exciting lineup of speakers including Ken Janssens, Martin SmithBirgit Neu, and UK Black Pride.

Out Leadership’s partnership with NEXUS is helping drive LGBTQ+ equality by connecting Employee Resource Group (ERG) leaders. 

NEXUS began as the LGBT Network of Networks, inspired by Vanessa Vallely’s Gender Networks, with the aim to create an informal forum for LGBTQ+ network (ERG) leaders to learn from each other. Since day one, NEXUS co-founders Dan Ricard and Alicia Millar have challenged themselves to bring new and innovative programming to ERG leaders and to connect corporate stakeholders with LGBTQ+ charities.



Across the United Kingdom, member firms like Reed Smith are letting their rainbow flags fly!

Reed Smith Pride celebration at the Quantus Gallery in London 2023


Last week Out Leadership Director of Member Experience Kenya Simon had the pleasure of joining member firm Reed Smith in London at the fabulous Quantus Gallery for their marquee Pride celebration.

“With the gallery packed, the team from Reed Smith spoke about their dedication to LGBTQ+ inclusion and encouraged folks to use any challenges the community is facing as motivation to double down and continue work towards equity and community in the workplace.”

“I also was able to talk about Out Leadership and highlight some of the great work the firm has done with us from hosting events to being one of our largest champions in the legal space. It was truly a fun and inspirational evening of Pride!” said Kenya.


An inspirational #OUTLEADER: Ruth Jacks from Wells Fargo

Ruth Jacks celebrating the holidays with the whole family


Ruth Jacks, #OutLEADER, recently assumed the role of head of Diverse Segments for Commercial Banking at Wells Fargo in June 2023. Ruth and her team are responsible for overseeing the commercial banking relationships with Black and African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, Asian, LGBTQ+, veteran, and women entrepreneurs across the U.S., developing solutions to help them achieve their financial objectives through access to Wells F\argo’s capital, network, and expertise. Her family is her top priority, and she enjoys spending as much time as she can with her wife, son, three grandsons, and three daughters, who she is currently in the process of adopting.

OutNEWS interviewed Ruth about her successful career and how her personal story impacted her professional life. Here’s some of what she shared:

“It’s everything. How you were raised, what you’ve experienced, what you’ve learned – these all determine how you show up as a professional. My modest upbringing and family gave me perspective on what I wanted in life, and that was to not be poor and to really see and treat people for who they were.

My father was deaf. He was a proud and confident guy, but others saw someone with a disability. My mother had four kids, and after my parents divorced, she got involved with a woman – at a time in the late 60s when that wasn’t so accepted. We also volunteered every summer with the Special Olympics. Seeing how these athletes showed up and competed taught me that I have no excuses when it comes to my own success. So, I did everything.

I played in the band, sang in the choir, played sports, and joined all the clubs. I was determined one of these paths would get me a scholarship and a better life. And I did earn two scholarships, but I was also now a mother. I left college early and picked up work wherever I could until I eventually ended up joining the Army, which ultimately allowed me the opportunity to attend college again and was my first real entry into a traditional career.”

To see Ruth’s full interview, click on the red button below.

Read More

If you’d like to celebrate #OutLEADER at your company, you may nominate them at info@outleadership.com.

Pictured above: Ruth and her wife at the Grand Canyon.


LGBTQ+ activism in Türkiye persists despite fears of retaliation.

Pride in Türkiye 2023


In the shadow of a high-stakes election during which President Tayyip Erdogan propagated homophobic rhetoric to help secure power through 2028, thousands of Turkish activists took to the streets of Istanbul to celebrate Pride. Despite threats of police raids, arrests, and a population emboldened by anti-LGBTQ+ messaging, Pride parades proceeded undeterred. Although journalists were prevented from attending many of the weekend’s events, the parade ended without any reported instances of violence.

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