LGBTQ Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession: The Basics and Beyond
Wesley Bizzell, Senior Assistant General Counsel and Managing Director of Political Law & Ethics Programs, Altria Client Services , USA
In the past decade, much has changed for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer (LGBTQ). LGBTQ characters are frequently featured in movies, broadcast and cable television shows, and advertisements. Same-sex marriage is now legal in every jurisdiction in the United States, given the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. In the U.S., 21 states protect LGBTQ employees from being fired simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In many instances, major corporations and large law firms helped lead the way in convincing Americans that LGBTQ individuals should be treated equally. However, while much progress has been made, much work remains to ensure that our society and our workplaces are welcoming to all diverse individuals, including those who are LGBTQ. Many companies, law firms, and their leaders want to support their LGBTQ employees, but may not fully understand the workplace challenges faced by this community or how to address them.
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