On October 8th, just three days prior to National Coming Out Day, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding three cases concerning workplace discrimination against LGBTQ people. The Court’s decision will have significant ramifications for the LGBTQ community nationwide.
Advocates in Georgia passed four local nondiscrimination ordinances that protect LGBTQ individuals, Massachusetts became the first state to pass a transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination law by referendum, and six more states have passed laws prohibiting the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. We were also excited to celebrate our role in passage of several new LGBTQ-inclusive paid leave laws and victories upholding local LGBTQ rights laws.
We work in cities across the country to fight for fair workplace policies such as paid leave and sick time, predictable and flexible work schedules, and nondiscrimination, which often involves helping cities defend those policies against state efforts to roll them back.
We know how important it is for cities and local communities to be able to develop and implement policies that are responsive to their own needs and for their voices to be heard at all levels of government, which is why structural, pro-democratic reforms are so crucial for progressive policymaking across issues.
Although families are incredibly diverse, our laws and policies often define family relationships narrowly. In 2018 A Better Balance worked with partners across the country to ensure that all family members, regardless of biological or legal ties, would be covered by these important workplace protections.
Local governments are an important powerhouse of progressive policymaking, and we are dedicated to strengthening, protecting, and defending local democracy in the years ahead.
Overall, the conference was an especially important moment to act in solidarity with our partners in the labor movement following the Supreme Court’s anti-worker rights decision in Janus v. AFSCME earlier this summer.
One of the many high points at the conference was hearing about the incredible cross-movement work happening at the local level, even in the face of state interference.
The way our laws define family sends a signal about who our country sees and values. But these choices are more than symbols—they have powerful practical consequences for real people’s ability to care for those they love.