Each June, we recognize the contributions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans — those who have fought for equal rights and protections from Stonewall to the Supreme Court, as well as those who work alongside us each and every day. The United States Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service are committed ensuring that our offices, national forests and grasslands, and service to the American people are free from harassment and discrimination.
“An inclusive and respectful work environment is key to mission success. Employees who feel that they’re in a safe and accepting environment are more productive and their overall work experience is enriched.” —Chief Tom Tidwell
From local Pride festivals and brown bag lunches at district offices, to the department’s Pride Month observance June 8 in the Jefferson Auditorium in Washington, D.C., there will be several observances of Pride Month across the Forest Service.
This year’s keynote speaker at the department's observance was Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Commissioner Chai Feldblum. Commissioner Feldblum shared her thoughts, as well as an update on the EEOC’s policy of treating discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII protects LGBT Forest Service applicants and employees as well as others covered under the EEOC from discrimination in employment. The event was recorded and will be posted on the Forest Service LGBT Blog.
It is the right of every employee to have a respectful workplace, free from discrimination, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. It is also the responsibility of each of us to know the rules and follow them — to create a Forest Service where we care for the land, and serve all people.
For more information, visit any of the following websites.