To The Editor:

As the Executive Director of PROMO, I understand what fairness means to Missourians.

I understand that fairness means an employee should be evaluated and promoted based on his or her ability to do the job.

I understand that fairness means a lease should be renewed based on whether the tenant pays the rent and takes care of the place.

I understand that fairness means a Missouri hotel room should be available to whoever can get a reservation and pay in full for the room.

I understand that fairness does not discriminate.

However, in the state of Missouri, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people can be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, and denied access to public accommodations and services.

According to a study recently released by the Williams Institute [link], approximately 160,000 LGBT people live in Missouri, and 100,000 LGBT Missourians are in the state’s workforce (roughly one in every 30 workers in Missouri). Yet only a handful of Missouri cities and counties have local ordinances that offer any protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Happily, a number of top employers in Missouri recognize that attracting and retaining talented employees means creating discrimination-free workplaces.

At least 52 companies headquartered in the state, including eight Fortune 500 firms, have enacted their own policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. PROMO has found that having inclusive policies in your workplace is good for business.