The price of equality


The circumstances which unfolded over the weekend in Orlando were a salutary reminder that on LGBT rights the world is still a long way from safety, let alone equality.

Our profession has an active role in defending individual rights and that must carry through to promoting those rights within our business. It is encouraging that law firms are taking on an active role but it is also worrying that we still need reminders of how difficult it can be for individuals to feel that they will be accepted.

Hopefully the day will come soon when "in" or "out" ceases to be worth even remarking on, any more than the colour of someone's eyes.

We are not there yet. In some places we are not even close. But we can and, given our unique place in society, we must lead.

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What can law firms do to help LGBT people? Be overt about being inclusive. There are those people that, perhaps understandably, think, “I come to work to practise the business of law, not my sexuality. Why does it matter?”. Well it does, given the above stats. Law firms need to send a clear message to attract and retain talent – we know LGBTers will look at what a firm is doing around inclusivity to make sure he or she will be welcomed.