HRC Arkansas Announces LGBT Workplace Equality Pledge With Over 100 Businesses

by Ianthe Metzger

LITTLE ROCKHRC Arkansas is pleased to announce its Equality is Our Business Program, designed to celebrate diversity and inclusion in the workplace, advance protections in employment, housing and public accommodations, and create more inclusive business practices. The new HRC Arkansas pledge aims to strengthen support for the values of diversity and inclusion, including Arkansas’s LGBT community, by engaging businesses of all sizes to sign the pledge, and place stickers at their front door or cash register. 106 businesses have signed on already to the pledge.

“Equality makes good business sense and this pledge is another reminder to our legislators that Arkansas business owners support and embrace the LGBT community,” said HRC Alabama director Kendra R. Johnson. “Regardless of our backgrounds, we can all agree that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.”

There are clear financial benefits of businesses who enthusiastically commit to LGBT diversity in the workplace. That’s why hundreds of Fortune 500 companies have equality protections in place for their LGBT workers. The business community understands in order to attract and retain top talent, managers must have workplace policies that treat everyone fairly.

According to a 2014 HRC survey, LGBT Arkansans are productive, contributing members of their respective communities. Almost 60 percent of respondents have lived in the Natural State for more than 20 years; more than 50 percent have volunteered in their communities; and 9 percent of LGBT Arkansans are currently serving, or have served, in the Armed Forces. However, LGBT people in Arkansas face challenging hurdles. In the Natural State, 37 percent have experienced harassment at work; half have experienced harassment on the street; and 38 percent of LGBT households earning less than $45,000 have experienced harassment at work.

Below are a few businesses supporting the HRC Arkansas Equality Is Our Business Pledge:

“At ZIN Urban wine and beer bar we strongly support equality in the workplace because it is simply the right thing to do.”
-Troy Deal, Owner Zin Urban Wine and Beer Bar

“We firmly believe in equal rights for everyone.  We try to provide an accepting and welcoming atmosphere for all!  We like to be that kind of haven. Showing our support through the HRC is another way for us to get the word out about our stance on equality.”
-Jeremy Bragg, River City Coffee

HRC Arkansas is working to advance equality for LGBT Arkansans who have no state or municipal level protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations; legal state recognition for their relationships and families; state rights to jointly adopt children; and state protections from hate crimes. HRC Arkansas works to realize a future where everyone is treated fairly by changing hearts, minds and laws.

To view the pledge, click here.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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