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GIANT EAGLE CELEBRATES PRIDE MONTH!
In recent years, we have made some excellent progress and can now celebrate gay marriage rights, improved spouse benefits, and the freedom to be ourselves. And earlier this month, in a landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law now forbids job discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status, a major victory for gay rights and the transgender rights movement.
By a vote of 6-3, the court said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate because of a person's sex, among other factors, also covers sexual orientation and transgender status. The Supreme Court upheld rulings from lower courts that said sexual orientation discrimination was a form of sex discrimination.
While this ruling is a huge step forward and a source for celebration, Pride Month also reminds us of a painful time in our history, where riots created awareness of deep-seated bigotry, and energized people to act. Protests and upheaval can often lead to genuine progress and change. Pride Month 2020 started on a somber note, following the horrific and unjust murder of George Floyd, and too many other African Americans, who have died tragically at the hands of brutality and racial injustice. We must continue to stand up against racism and advocate for equality.
Marsha P. Johnson stood at the center of New York City's gay liberation movement for nearly 25 years. LGBTQ rights were not her only cause. A woman of color, she was also on the front lines of protests oppressing brutality and helped found one of the country's first safe havens for transgender and homeless youth. She also advocated tirelessly on behalf of prisoners and people with HIV/AIDS. Being black, poor, gay, and gender nonconforming, Johnson knew what it meant to be discriminated against. Her passion, hope, and perseverance in the face of extreme oppression is why her story still resonates today since many of the battles she fought are not yet won. At 23, Johnson became a key figure in the events that followed the raid on June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, the New York City gay bar. Having resisted arrest, Johnson and others – including Sylvia Rivera, a Latina gay liberation and transgender rights activist – led a series of protests at the raid. Not only did the first Gay Pride parades follow in 1970, but Johnson and Rivera later established an activist organization to support transgender teens. Johnson died in 1992, having dedicated much of her life fighting for others’ rights.
At Giant Eagle, we are monitoring PRIDE events across our markets that were postponed due to the pandemic and plan to participate once they are rescheduled. We have also made some good progress in the fight for LGBTQ equality this past year, earning a score of 90 on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), our highest score ever.
We earned a top rating for taking steps to ensure greater equity for LGBTQ Team Members and their families in form of LGBTQ discrimination policies, benefits, and practices. We have been gathering information such as educational resources and Pride events happening in our communities to post on our internal Team Member Community Portal
All this important work must continue. We encourage our Team Members (and everyone) to stand up for all your fellow Team Members and neighbors and advocate for equality and positive change!