Monday, April 18, 2016
We cats are veterans of the employee-benefits wars — which are not quite as sexy as the culture wars, but which are deeply intertwined with them nevertheless.
Specifically, we have agitated at major employers (okay, at one) for health coverage for gay couples. Although our particular employer chose not to see the light — which caused us to part ways — we're pretty smug now that the law of the land has compelled them to cover not just husbands and wives, but husbands and husbands and wives and wives. Hooray!
So you can imagine that we've been fascinated with how much corporate America has changed in the last 10 years. Now, companies that want to hire the most highly qualified folks know in their bones that they have to be inclusive in their health and welfare benefits — and if they can, they should headquarter or locate major hubs in states that are welcoming and not judgmental.
Sounds like a no-brainer to us. But it's amazing how many Republican-run states are lining up to emulate North Carolina's foolish "bathroom law." (Which, as we know, is about way more than just public restrooms.)
If there's one thing we can divine from all this silliness, it's that even after the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality, the fight goes on. America's LGBT citizens and the straight people who love them can take comfort in the fact that we have a valuable ally in the nation's corporate boardrooms. And that, children, is thanks to the Human Rights Campaign's visionary strategy of engaging big business on the side of equality and equal opportunity.
Sure, the HRC has frustrated us in the past with its dogged nonpartisanship (the GOP has made it clear that homosexuals need not apply, don'tcha think?). But we must salute the organization for its influential Corporate Equality Index, for its tremendous awareness campaign among businesspeople interested in recruiting high-powered, open-minded talent, and for its encouragement of gay and trans employees to speak up in their respective workplaces.
It was a brilliant strategy: Not just because it was the right thing to do, but because it gathered up some crucial allies just when the LGBT community needed them — post-Obergefell, and in the midst of the right wing's last-ditch "religious liberty" campaign.
So good on you, Human Rights Campaign. You did some solid recruiting of your own — the members of the US Chamber of Commerce, to the side of truth, justice and the American Way. We cats PURR.