Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Out & Equal Poll shows public holds libertarian views on employment nondiscrimination and benefits

A recent poll by Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (PDF) shows that most straight people nationwide support equal benefits for same-sex partners but do not support laws that dictate companies' employment policies.
A majority of heterosexual adults (61%) believe
that a company should have the freedom to decide for itself the benefits it offers to its employees and
their spouses or partners – not federal or state policy, according to the latest national Out & Equal
Workplace survey...
72 percent of heterosexual adults consider it important that a company have a written
nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation in addition to race, ethnicity, sex, religion,
age and disability, compared to 63 percent in 2002.

Unfortunately, Out & Equal still includes corporate endorsement of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as a factor in choosing its annual "Outie" organizational awards, such as with Chevron in 2005. Aside from its support of ENDA, Out & Equal's advocacy model is a good one -- providing training to HR professionals and publishing reports on the companies that voluntarily choose the most LGBT-friendly policies. Maybe these latest poll numbers will convince them to drop ENDA advocacy from their mission and concentrate on what they do best -- voluntary workplace training on LGBT issues.