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June 15, 2010

Dept. of Labor issues LGBT Pride poster featuring Harvey Milk


A year ago, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis initiated an elevator poster campaign in the Frances Perkins Building, the Washington Headquarters of the Department of Labor (DOL). When some of those posters were defaced, Secretary Solis issued an all-employees letter stating, among other things, "Respect for others is non-negotiable at the U.S. Department of Labor.... The posters will stay up until the end of the month, and will be replaced immediately if they are removed or destroyed. This is a small way to remind everyone here how I, and most of our colleagues, feel about this issue."

This month, Solis marked her second annual Pride Month as Labor Secretary by issuing the above poster featuring Harvey Milk and his famous quote about hope. I recently marked my thirtieth anniversary as a federal employee, and I am proud of our Secretary's commitment to equality. Yes, I know, this gesture does not substitute for passage of ENDA or repeal of DADT and DOMA. We need to keep pushing for those and more. But we are dealing with allies here — allies who at Labor have invited LGBT activists to DOL to make presentations on their efforts on behalf of LGBT workers. The fact that something is not everything does not make it nothing. Thanks to Secretary Solis for deomonstrating her continued dedication to protecting all American workers regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. No, it's not at all like having ENDA in place; but would it be better to replace her and her boss with the team that the current GOP would be likely to give us? Hell, no.


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