Sanford Heisler Sharp Diversity and Inclusion Committee Statement on Pride Month

As a committee and as a firm, we wish everyone a very happy Pride Month. While Pride is and should be a celebration, we must also remember that the first Pride was a riot. Pride Month continues the tradition of and honors the 1969 Stonewall Riots, which began as a direct response to police harassment of the LGBTQIA+ community in New York City and around the country. We celebrate Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman, who threw the first brick.

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is committed to supporting the firm’s goals of promoting equality in the workplace and accurately representing the rich diversity of America. We celebrate with the LGBTQIA+ community and re-affirm their right to freely and openly be themselves both in and out of the workplace. We recognize the long, arduous road towards fullfledged equality and the progress our society has made along the way. For example:

  • In 2015, the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges formally extended the right to marry across the United States for the first time in history.
  • In 2020, the Supreme Court held in Bostock v. Clayton County that Title VII’s protections against workplace discrimination extend to sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • In 2021, a Gallup poll showed that a record 70% of Americans support same-sex marriage for the first time ever.

We are encouraged by these strides towards equality but remain resolute in the face of numerous ongoing challenges and the work left to be done. We stand firm against homophobia and transphobia in all of their manifestations, whether they be hostile legislation from various state legislatures, hate crimes, or microaggressions in the workplace.

We recognize and understand that Pride Month is not simply a seasonal commitment, but rather a year-round learning process for those who wish to stand with the community. With that understanding, we wish the LGBTQIA+ community a joyous and safe Pride month.

We encourage anyone who feels comfortable doing so to share their thoughts or reflections with the Committee via email at DiversityCommittee@sanfordheisler.com.

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