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E-Mail From Hilda Solis to Employees Who Defaced Gay Pride Posters at U.S. Dept. of Labor

"Respect for others is non-negotiable at the U.S. Department of Labor"
 
 
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Late last week, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis issued a warning letter to department employees after office posters celebrating Gay Pride Month were defaced or removed. ThinkProgress obtained the Solis e-mail sent to the department’s entire staff. Solis, who helped found the House's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Caucus, wrote she was "particularly pleased to have the opportunity to be the first Secretary in the department’s history to publicly recognize Pride Month":

“It appears, however, that some members of the Labor Department team have a different view, as it has come to my attention that most of the posters have been continually defaced or removed. On several occasions, even the poster frames have been torn completely off the elevator walls. [...]

I do not believe these actions represent the majority of our employees, so I refuse to let this situation define us. But I do want to make myself absolutely clear: Respect for others is non-negotiable at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Solis added the Gay Pride posters will be immediately replaced if they are damaged or removed. Full e-mail below:

From: Secretary Hilda Solis
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2009 1:40 PM
Subject: Proud of Pride

Dear Colleagues:

On June 1st, I initiated an elevator poster campaign in the Frances Perkins Building, with the goal of recognizing department initiatives and accomplishments, and to share my thoughts and priorities with the entire DOL team. We are currently exploring ways to provide the same information to BLS and to our regional offices.

Something else far more important also happened on June 1st. The President issued a proclamation recognizing June as national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. I was excited to have an opportunity, through our poster campaign, to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of the LGBT community and affirm our commitment to all workers across the country. The posters went up in the elevators on Monday.

As a founding member of the LGBT Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, I was particularly pleased to have the opportunity to be the first Secretary in the department’s history to publicly recognize Pride Month. I am very proud of that.

It appears, however, that some members of the Labor Department team have a different view, as it has come to my attention that most of the posters have been continually defaced or removed. On several occasions, even the poster frames have been torn completely off the elevator walls.

My reaction to this news has ranged from disappointment to outrage.

 
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