How accepting is the culture of your workplace toward openly gay and lesbian employees?

Tuesday marks the end of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that forced gays and lesbians in the military to keep their sexuality a secret. Today’s Question: How accepting is the culture of your workplace toward openly gay and lesbian employees?

  • Dee

    People generally accept gays/lesbians at my workplace but organizational policies still allow different treatment (no partner benefits, etc.). The place has a non-discrimination statement that includes sexual orientation but benefits are excluded. When the org recently conducted a climate survey it was noted by respondents and noted by analysts in the results. Still no change in sight.

  • Zeke

    Mgmt is more concerned about an EEOC action than anyone of the employees are concerned about an individual’s personal status. I’m concerned about work-outcomes and not team members personal preferences.

  • Mike

    My workplace is in process of becoming more accepting. When I was hired I could not include my husband/partner on my benefits, but that will be changing in November and I can include him. During my interview, I was actually considered to bring some diversity to the department because I was out (there is no real ethnic diversity).

  • Philip

    MPR’s continued focus on gay/lesbian issues is one of the reasons I will not financially support the organization. “Public” radio should be about telling the news and not forcing a social position on people through continuous coverage of the issue.

  • Christopher

    I feel fortunate to work for an organization that includes anti-harassment policy language that protects sexual orientation. Our company also has complete and comprehensive benefit packages for domestic partners and same-sex spouses. As an executive, I feel that we are making the right moves in this country and much of it, I believe, is coming from companies doing the “right thing” on this issue. As a senior executive that has worked for a few large corporations I have seen the benefits of inclusion and the disastrous results when inclusion has not been a value. But I’m proud to say that with each year that passes the corporate/business environment continues to make significant gains in this area, now if the political reality would just come a little closer to getting to a place where most Americans have already arrived.

  • Jason

    Gays and Lesbians are part of the ‘public.’ And the only choice made by us is a choice to be honest about who we are. We should not have to hide who we are in order to work and contribute to our society, and I’m very happy to see that the armed services is following the lead of most of the large (and small) companies in the U.S. Sexual orientation has absolutely nothing to do with how one does their job. I don’t know if I’ve just been lucky, but ALL my employers have had an open and accepting stance towards their gay and lesbian employees. I talk openly about my husband, and I’m treated no differently than my straight colleagues. That is how things should be in all aspects of our society; we are no different and just want to be treated like everyone else.

  • james

    Why is MPR so preoccupied with homosexuality?

    It seems like ANYTIME gay or lesbian anything shows it ugly head MPR show cases it.


    Stay in the closet,,,, I DON”T CARE!


  • pete

    I don’t mind that straight people work with me. I know that I don’t always agree with the ‘straight’ lifestyle, but I do believe that we’re born the way we are for a reason. My partner of 15 years and I have many straight friends, we even frequent straight establishments. I think that what people do with their private parts is their own business. I don’t see anything wrong with straights in the workplace, as long as they keep their sexuality in the bedroom, not the boardroom.

  • Marnie K.

    I work for a large Twin Cities corporation that is very accepting of GLBT employees. This is the most accepting environment I’ve ever worked in.

  • CF

    I agree with several points.

    1. MPR is too obsessed with the gay lifestyle to the point of promoting it. So much for unbiased journalism. Which is why I CANCELLED my membership.

    2. As the saying goes, there are two things you don’t talk about in the office, religion and politics. GLBT would seem to fall into these categories one way or another.

    3. Gay or straight, can they do the job? That’s all. Otherwise it’s none of anyone’s beezwax who loves who. Abolish all employer “benefits” other than a salary. Especially healthcare. That will solve the problem of whether gay partners get insurance or not.

    4. Lastly one poster said it’s none of an employers business what an employee does outside the workplace. Too bad that doesn’t hold true for people who enjoy cannabis or smoke cigarettes. END DRUG TESTING NOW!!!

  • Jim Shapiro

    I work at home, and neither my wife, 10 yr old daughter, nor 4 year old son have come out yet.

    If, however, that situation changes, the announcement will be greeted with loving compassion.

    After which they will be told that no body really cares besides their potential partners, so shut up about it and get back to work. 🙂

  • John

    My employee handbook doesn’t specifically address this, and I’m not aware of it being an issue, but then I’ve only worked for this nationwide corporation for a year. No health insurance benefits, so that’s not an issue either.

    The employee lounge at my location has books by Anita Bryant, if that’s indicative of anything.

  • Adam

    As a stay-at-home dad, my workplace is very accepting of GLBT persons, although I’m certain no one here falls into that category.

  • Jessica E

    I will not spend my life working for anything that discriminates or fosters a view that is inhumane. I’ve been interested in getting a Masters of Divinity for years, but was unsure what I would do with it until my church recently voted to ordain everyone.

    As far as MPR being obsessed. Wake up! The growing love and support of human beings around the world is a great story that affects many people and families, whether they like their gay peeps or not. This news has wonderful implications for justice in our society. I would cancel my membership if such a social change were not considered newsworthy.

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    I work with several gay individuals in a place where everyone is well educated. Someone’s sexual preference is of no concern to anyone, nor is it anyone else’s business. It certainly has no impact on a person’s productivity.

    Really, in what kind or workplace would you talk about your sex life anyway?

  • Vivian

    “whether they like their gay peeps or not”

    Are gay peeps rainbow colored marshmellows shaped like ducks?

  • St. Paul

    The only difference between people who are sexually attracted to the opposite sex and people who experience same sex attraction is what gets them sexually aroused. In both cases, at my place of work, the policy on that topic is don’t ask-don’t tell.

  • Linda

    In my workplace it is about character, not one’s sexual orientation.

  • Alison

    My workplace, a major MN company, is very accepting. They work hard to ensure that benefits for domestic partners are equivalent to those for spouses. They also include transition related treatments for transgender emplyees in the health plan. The corporate culture, by which I mean interactions with people on a daily basis, is quite good. Maybe that’s why I find the fact there is a marriage debate so perplexing.

    For those answering it doesn’t really matter, we just don’t talk about sex, even that statement shows improvment. Not long ago being gay or transgender was enough to get you fired. Actually, it still is some places, despite the fact that it is against the law in MN.

    It is an enormous burden to constantly lie about such an important piece of your identity. Sure you don’t talk about sex with your co-workers, but how do you answer the question, “What did you do this weekend?” Try answering it without referene to the poeple you spent time with. Do you have pictures of your family on your desk? Did you talk about the vacation you just got from, including who went along? To work in a place where it really doesn’t matter if you are G, L, B. or T is a wonderful thing, and it is something that was excedingly rare even 20 years ago. And, don’t forget, if you are transgender and choose to transition, that fact is rarely something you can completely hide.

  • Steve the Cynic

    You think MPR is obsessed with gay issues? I haven’t noticed an inordinate amount of coverage of gay issues on MPR. In my experience, Fox News and “Christian” broadcasters discuss such things way more often than public broadcasting does. Of course, in public broadcasting the coverage is always neutral, while Fox gives plenty of coverage to anti-gay activists, and “Christian” broadcasters are always trying to raise the alarm against it. To my mind, that’s obsessive.

  • EAL

    The tragedy in discussing this issue is the thrashing of those who for natural, religious or other reasons are not in agreeement with the lesbian/gay lifestyle, by those people who profess to be tolerant and diverse in thought. (e.g., hypocricy)

  • brian

    It’s interesting that several responders talk about how one’s sex life is not talked about at work. But this isn’t really about a person’s sex life, just about life. How typical is it for coworkers to reference a husband or wife?

  • Al

    \\not in agreeement with the lesbian/gay lifestyle

    So, EAL, what do you mean by that exactly? I know a few lesbian couples with kids. Their ‘lifestyles’ seems pretty much like mine. Getting the kids off to school, preparing healthy meals for their families, reading to their kids, getting them to bed on time, taking them dance class, going for bike rides, getting the housework done, visiting family and friends…

    Do you not approve of the ‘lifestyle’ my wife and I and our kids have on ‘natural, religious, or other’ grounds? My lesbian friends have the same joys and frustrations as any other set of parents I know, except they have to put up with people who treat them poorly due to their ‘lifestyle’. Thankfully that is becoming less common.

  • Roul

    While the country has over 25 million under or unemployed, Obama continues with proven to fail policies, the other countries laugh at America and have little respect for our leaders. we are with an old question on gay acceptance??? reallly?? Really? Like this matters when the country is falling apart while being led by socialist ideologs??

    Come on_ when ever Obama’s rating are tanking, when he has scandals from Project Gun Runner to killing jobs at Boeing to Solydra’s scalping tax payers for half a billion..and MPR has this stupid question as important? If I didn’t no better, i’d say MPR and NPR cater to the Far left and run cover for Obama’s failings. Maybe we should ask the question of ,” Does Anita Dunn, communist supporter, have a real claim that the White House is hostile to women in their ranks?”

    It was Anita Dunn who spoke at the law college saying Mao ( mass murder leader of China) was one of her two favorite people she looks to for guidance. Thank you Obama for appointing such a radical anti-American once again as always for the past nearly three years of his reign. )Gag.

  • Roul

    I work in a inner city charter school and several kids have gay parents. I worked in psychiatric centers as well where we saw many kids with identity disorders The gay parents lifestyle according their reports, stressed them out. They hated the oddity of having two mothers and NO male father role is an environment that is not normal for childhood development yet, work place discussions of acceptance is not an issue nor should it be. Gay couples can get dogs or cats instead oft trying to pretend they are the norm by raising children in a confused unnatural state. For liberals now, recall liberals expect diversity of opinion so don’t flame this or others will cry HYPOCRITE. 🙂

  • Mark G

    Those who seem to think that MPR has a gay bias, or any other kind of bias, apparently don’t listen to MPR very often. I work 90 minutes away from my home, and so listen to MPR at least 3 hours a day. Every so often there is a story about gay issues, but MPR educates people about hundres of other topics every day too. I’d say that gay issues occupy about 5% of MPR’s air time, roughly the same percentage as there are gay Americans. And this is bias??

  • Philip

    It’s interesting to read all the responses to posts who illuminate MPR’s show casing of this topic and how this simply isn’t true. Then I view the home page of NPR News and guess what the first article is about.

  • Michael

    I am no longer in the workforce, but the last place I was employed at this was not an issue. People were expected to do their job and everyone was accepted for who they were.

    It’s sad that so many cannot answer the question..’how accepting is the culture of your workplace.’ The question wasn’t about our presidents policies, nor was it about religion. MPR covers those issues and they’ve asked questions regarding them. See the question for Tuesday September 20th.

  • Jason

    My last workplace had a virtually official policy of not just accepting but supporting GLBT people. It was basically a non-issue, and to the best of my knowledge didn’t affect anything in the workplace.

    In response to ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ I have my own policy – don’t know, don’t care. I’ve never felt any compulsion to be concerned over whether someone was gay or not. Just do your job and work with people, just like anyone else. Hey, what a concept!


    We don’t need to refer to a certain workplace as a ‘major MN company’, yours truly included, it’s probably Target. While their policies make people think they are a more accepting company it is actually a smart business move.

    Since their model includes maintaining a hip, progressive image its in their best interests to be a leader in accepting alternative lives. It also serves to court a statistically more affluent demographic, one with more buying power. It’s not altruism, it’s savvy marketing.

  • Alison

    Actaully, Jason, it’s 3M. I should have just said that before, since there was nothing in my post that you won’t find in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index results. The policies may be a good business move, but a much appreciated move and one in the right direction. Major businesses have been leaders in the change toward increased GLBT equality, regardless of motives, and 3M has been and remains among the leaders. The corporate culture here isn’t the result of PR, and as I said, that’s pretty good too.

  • Michael

    100% 🙂