Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who live and work in Birmingham, Ala., have no legal protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. That means you can be fired from your job for being gay or denied service because you're transgender or be kicked out of your apartment because your gender expression doesn't conform to societal norms.
No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. More than 200 counties and cities in the United States prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Business leaders recognize that protecting their LGBT employees from discrimination and harassment allows them to recruit and retain the world’s top talent. That’s why 91 percent of Fortune 500 companies have workplace non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and 61 percent have policies that also include gender identity and expression. Many businesses in Birmingham already provide these protections, understanding that such policies are good for their bottom line, and for the city as a whole.
Alabamians believe in the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Discrimination is a violation of the golden rule. If we speak out together, we can help make Birmingham a more diverse and inclusive place — for everyone.
More than 200 cities and counties have already taken steps to prohibit and prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. These are cities with which Birmingham competes for business, tourism and accolades, such as Atlanta, Austin, New Orleans, Phoenix and Philadelphia.
Birmingham needs to do better if we expect to attract and retain top talent and continue our positive momentum. Let's make this the great city we know it can be, one where the Golden Rule is not merely talk, but rooted in action.