I wanted to share with our supporters the exciting news that came out of Lafayette yesterday afternoon: Lafayette Consolidated government issued a fully inclusive anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy that includes protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for city-parish employees. Forum For Equality commends City-Parish President Joey Durel and Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley for their commitment to equality – it is definitely another reason to celebrate this holiday season!
This achievement is the result of the hard work and dedication of our FFE Field Director Colin Miller, the entire Forum For Equality Acadiana Chapter, Barbara Conner, and Stephen Handwerk of the Stonewall Democrats! This important development, while in the works for many months, follows the very successful “Creative Economy Summit” hosted last month by Forum For Equality, League of Women Voters of Lafayette, AOC Community Media & The Independent Weekly.
Forum For Equality has been working hard all over Louisiana this year and getting results! Earlier this year, Monroe Mayor Jaime Mayo issued an executive order to expand public employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation. This resulted from the dedication of Forum Field Director Odessa Sykes and the entire Forum For Equality Monroe Chapter.
As 2011 comes to a close, the Louisiana LGBT community has much to celebrate, as public employee protections now exist in Baton Rouge, Bossier City, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans, and Shreveport. But we realize that this is just the beginning. The Forum is not only committed to expanding this list, but also expanding existing protections to cover gender identity. We will also continue our efforts to obtain similar protections by state government, too.
As we prepare to move into the New Year, our Field Directors and I will continue to focus on building up our local chapters across the state. If you are interested in working on equality issues in your local area, please contact us – we’re excited to hear from you! Also, please join us by becoming a member of Forum For Equality today and support Louisiana equality!
Managing Director, FFE