Thursday, June 21, 2007

Good news and bad news

This is a follow-up to Tuesday's post about Lockheed promoting "Gay Pride Month".

Wednesday morning, the banner was removed from the web site. HR indicated that they received a flood of protest. However, they did not acknowledge that removing the banner was a result of the complaints. Normally these "special announcements" stay up for two or three weeks. This one lasted 48 hours.

The company issued an official statement:

The recognition of Pride Month on InSite is not intended to endorse or promote anything. Just like the prior "special announcements" of Black History Month, Women's History Month, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, and National Day of Prayer, we are acknowledging widely recognized days and months.

We certainly understand that not all employees will relate to all of these events. Nevertheless, we feel it is entirely appropriate to provide the information, which we do in an objective, straightforward way.

Ralph and I appreciate and respect your opinion. You absolutely have the personal right to disagree with the content of the posting. We will, however, continue to inform our employees of widely recognized events focused on diversity and inclusion. Our intent is to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to feel accepted and welcome in the workplace.

This statement is flawed in several ways.

First of all, when you use the word "Pride" you are making a value judgment, not an objective delivery of information.

Secondly, if you are familiar with the history of the Stonewall Riots, you will know that this violent attack on police officers is a far cry from the non-violent social action of Martin Luther King, and is not something that Lockheed Martin should be celebrating.

Third, Gay Pride is not analogous to Black History Month or Hispanic Heritage Month. The rich cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the employees at Lockheed Martin is something worthy of celebration, but lifestyle choices about who people have sex with is a private matter, not something we should have our noses rubbed in.

But we will make sure that they acknowledge red-blooded American Christian occasions. They gave their word.

No comments: