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ERIC Number: EJ929951
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 10
A Place at the Table? The Organization of a Pre-Conference Symposium on LGBT Issues in HRD
Schmidt, Steven W.; Githens, Rod P.
New Horizons in Adult Education & Human Resource Development, v24 n1 p59-62 Win 2010
The idea for a pre-conference session focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues in human resource development (HRD) seemed an appropriate topic for an international conference on HRD. The LGBT rights movement has been closely linked with the world of work and the opportunities made available through shifts from an agrarian economy (see D'Emilio, 1993; Foucault, 1978). The modern gay rights movement started in 1969, when patrons of a New York gay bar, The Stonewall Inn, fought back after a routine police raid (D'Emilio & Freedman, 1997). The riots that resulted from this raid launched the modern demand for LGBT rights. In the years since 1969, unprecedented gains in this movement have resulted in awareness and acceptance in many venues and situations, including workplaces. Policies banning discrimination based on sexual orientation have appeared at state, local, and organizational levels. More companies than ever offer domestic partner benefits, and LGBT employee groups (e.g., affinity networks) have formed within many organizations. However, as is the case with many movements, change does not come easily. In her observation of the gay rights movement as a whole, Hornsby (2006) notes that these changes have resulted in backlash and fear. The resulting conflict is apparent in many places, including workplaces. In response to this conflict, Hornsby (2006) recommends a strong foundation of LGBT-friendly policies in the workplace to both protect individuals and foster inclusion. However, efforts to promote this protection and inclusion can be difficult. The purpose of this essay is to illustrate the difficulties that can be associated with civil and workplace rights movements, as experienced by organizers of a pre-conference on LGBT workplace issues.
Descriptors: Homosexuality, Sexual Identity, Sexual Orientation, Conferences (Gatherings), Organization, Labor Force Development, Work Environment
Florida International University College of Education. 11200 SW 8th Street, ZEB 361A, Miami, FL 33199. Tel: 305-348-6151; Fax: 305-348-1515; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://education.fiu.edu/newhorizons
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A