To the Editor:
I was surprised and disappointed to see this section in your article on Seattle Pride 2009 (in issue 28, July 4–10): “The presence of corporate sponsorship was prevalent. … ‘The corporate sponsorship is very hypocritical to me because they don’t really support their queer workers.’”
I completely reject the implication that these companies don’t support their LGBTQ employees or our community at large. I work for one of these companies and apart from my company funding many Pride month activities, we do get time off from work to care for our same-sex partners and our families. We also receive adoption benefits and paternity or maternity leave just like opposite-sex couples, and the company has very clear policies in place to prevent workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
If you were to ask Seattle Out and Proud, the organization that runs the Pride Parade, I think they would tell you that corporate sponsorship is absolutely essential for the Pride Parade to be a reality. At a time when many companies are making painful cuts to remain viable, I’d like to thank the corporations who showed their commitment to our community and contributed to make the Pride Parade a reality in this difficult year.
Allow me to extend an invitation to anyone interested in understanding and advancing LGBTQ workplace equality to join Out & Equal Seattle, the local affiliate of a national LGBTQ workplace advocacy organization, whose mission is to educate and empower organizations, human resource professionals, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and individual employees through programs and services that result in equal policies, opportunities, practices, and benefits in the workplace regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, or characteristics.
— Brian Murphy, Seattle