Ask the White Guy: LGBT Rights Are Human Rights

What happens when you support equal rights for everyone--except LGBTs? Read what the White Guy tells this active-duty service member about "don't ask, don't tell."

Luke Visconti's Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.


Question:

As an active-duty member, there are items in the magazine that I personally can't do, such as condone or support gay/lesbian lifestyle. We are still "don't ask, don't tell" ...  There are many good articles regarding race, gender and ethnicity, but I just can't support the other.

Answer:

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy is an executive order from President Clinton's administration. From the recent Human Rights Campaign debates, I'm pretty sure if a Democrat is elected president, LGBT people will be allowed to openly serve. This is a trend that is reflected in corporate America--more than half of the Fortune 500 companies now provide domestic-partner health benefits.

We recently asked several chief diversity officers in a roundtable discussion about "backlash" to partner benefits. All responded in the same vein: "This is how we do business; if you don't like it, then you shouldn't do business here." You'll see the responses in our Nov./Dec. 2007 issue of DiversityInc magazine.

Right now, you have the option to not "support" LGBT human rights, but that could change in a little more than a year. Considering history shows that limiting human rights has not proved to be a sustainable policy, I suspect that one way or another, you will find yourself in a military that is compelled by law to respect the orientation of the Americans who chose to serve their country.

By the way, it's grossly insulting to call someone's orientation a "lifestyle."

Vickers "Vic" Cunningham, a former Dallas judge who's running in the Republican primary runoff election for Dallas county commissioner on Tuesday, decided to provide his children a monetary incentive to condone homophobia and racism. Cunningham set up a living trust with a clause rewarding his children if they marry a white, straight Christian.

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Two Different Cups of Joe: How The Coffee Bean and Starbucks Handled Racism

In an age of increasing racial confrontations, a business must have zero tolerance for discrimination.

In the Trump era, there has been a proliferation of Islamophobic and racist incidents across the country. When discrimination occurs at a place of business, it's apparent if the company's leadership and workforce support diversity and inclusion. A Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf café barista refused to serve a racist customer; meanwhile, a white manager at a Starbucks called the police on two Black men for no reason.

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Executives from Nielsen, New York Life, TIAA and Toyota Motor North America talk about communicating their commitment to D&I management and backing it up with actions that get results.

At the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 event, more than 400 people were in attendance during the day to hear best practices on effectively managing diversity and inclusion.

Moderator: Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

Panelists:

  • Angela Talton, Chief Diversity Officer, Nielsen
  • Kathleen Navarro, VP & Chief Diversity Officer, New York Life
  • Steve Larson, Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion, TIAA
  • Adrienne Trimble, General Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, Toyota Motor North America

Janelle Monáe Opens Up About 'Being a Queer Black Woman in America'

"I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf***er," the singer said.

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In an interview with Rolling Stone, Janelle Monáe came out as pansexual — and she's owning her identity.

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We White People Need to Own This

Martin Luther King has been dead for 50 years and Donald Trump is our president. Who is responsible?

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Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 18 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

We will be deluged by Martin Luther King articles and columns today. Some will be excellent, like the one Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote. But most will be saccharine sweet and not say what needs to be said.

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