It’s no secret in our movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality that many in the private sector lead – often well ahead of lawmakers – when it comes to creating equal opportunities and equitable benefits for our community. And, as businesses continue to cultivate more inclusive workplaces for LGBT employees, their commitment to equality has made life better and more secure for countless workers, their families and their communities.
With its new paid family leave policy for all parents and caregivers, Coca‑Cola is committing to the health and well-being of all employees and their families. Many LGBT people build their families through adoption, and additional time at home helping a baby or child transition into a new family environment is important. Likewise, for single parents who are LGBT, this extended paid leave allows more time to secure their child’s well-being, including finding reliable child care.
Supporting that adoptive transgender mom, single gay dad or a lesbian foster parent is not an abstract concept: companies that do so are simply taking care of their own. This welcome action is consistent with the company’s history – from stepping up as an early adopter of transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage, to its marketing that supports the LGBT community at-large.
And recently, as terrible anti-LGBT bills have been raised in dozens of states across the nation,
your Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent has been standing with HRC, and shoulder-to-shoulder with other equality-minded corporate leaders, to oppose these discriminatory measures.
In creating a fully-inclusive workplace that includes its new family leave policy, Coca‑Cola is encouraging LGBT employees to bring their full, authentic selves to work. In asserting its opposition to anti-LGBT laws, its leadership is sending company employees and the broader public an unmistakable message about the importance of full equality for all.
Chad Griffin is president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization with more than 1.5 million members and supporters.