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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Program

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Program promotes the employment; advancement and retention of persons with differing sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in the Department of Commerce. The LGBTQ+ Program serves as a resource to assist managers in identifying and resolving employment, retention, and work environment issues affecting LGBTQ+ employees at the DOC.


LGBTQ Pride Month

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ+ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

In 1994, a coalition of education-based organizations in the United States designated October as LGBT History Month. In 1995, a resolution passed by the General Assembly of the National Education Association included LGBT History Month within a list of commemorative months. National Coming Out Day (October 11), as well as the first “March on Washington” in 1979, are commemorated in the community during LGBT History Month.

2019 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results - Sexual Orientation Comparison Report

LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Groups 

Commerce Pride

Commerce Pride's mission is to be a strategic partner with the Department of Commerce to promote cultural awareness and inclusion for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning employees through continual learning, networking, advocacy, and knowledge sharing among its members. If you wish to join, please contact Commerce Pride at [email protected]

NOAA Pride

NOAA Pride is an Employee Resource Group focused on supporting the needs of the NOAA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ or Questioning (LGBTQ+) community and its allies.  NOAA Pride promotes the employment, advancement and retention of persons regardless of sexual orientation, gender identities, and gender expressions, and assists managers and staff in identifying and resolving employment, retention, and work environment issues affecting LGBTQ+ employees at NOAA. For more information contact Kenneth Walker at [email protected]

NIST Pride

NIST Pride is a resource group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other (LGBTQ+) employees and their allies at NIST.  Contractors, interns, friends, family, students, guest researchers - everyone is welcome. Join us for caffeine breaks, social mixers, and more. Volunteer for outreach and educational activities. To contact the group leadership, email [email protected]

Lambda PTO

Lambda PTO is the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Employee Organization at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). We are recognized by the USPTO as an official voluntary employee organization. Founded in 1994, Lambda PTO fosters a positive work environment for all USPTO employees, regardless of sexual orientation. Although our focus is primarily on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender issues, membership is open to all USPTO employees and contractors. Lambda PTO membership includes USPTO workers at all levels. Contact info:   [email protected]. Website: www.lambdapto.org Social Media: www.facebook.com/lambdapto 

Census Bureau's Rainbow Alliance

Rainbow Alliance (RA) contributes to the Census Bureau employee welfare and fosters a climate of diversity and inclusion. RA educates managers on issues of concern to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Federal employees and enhances awareness in the workplace that sexual orientation and gender identity/expression are unrelated to an employee's job performance. Finally, RA works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination in the Bureau based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. RA hosts monthly meetings with lively discussion and social events including happy hours and luncheons. If you have questions or want to join RA, please contact [email protected] 


Supreme Court Opinion: An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  Read the June 2020 Opinion here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf

Commerce Blog: Commerce Recognizes LGBT Pride Month

On Monday, June 19, 2017, the Department of Commerce's Office of Civil Rights, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recognized the 2017 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month – a month-long observance of the LGBT community and the community’s impact on our Nation’s history. The event was well attended with over 150 employees from the partnership agencies.

Keynote speaker Sarah McBride, the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, shared her story about coming out as transgender and the struggles and triumphs she experienced since. Her heartfelt speech opened minds and shed light on the journey towards LGBT equality. She said:

Generations from now […] a young gay kid, or a young trans kid will grow up and learn about the struggle for justice and equality in their textbooks and never have to know what this progress felt for those of us who are LGBTQ, because they will never know anything different. And that will be because of LGBTQ people everywhere who persevered, who marched, and fought. It’ll be because of our allies who stood up and spoke out. […] I want to thank each and every one of you for all the work you have done in your respective offices, divisions, departments, to make sure that you are upholding the duty of supporting and embracing every American citizen – protecting their rights, protecting their dignity, protecting their lives.


Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment 

Department of Commerce: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Complaint Process

EEOC's Fact Sheet: Recent EEOC Litigation Regarding Title VII & LGBT-Related Discrimination

What You Should Know About EEOC and the Enforcement Protections for LGBT Workers

Examples of Court Decisions Supporting Coverage of LGBT-Related Discrimination Under Title VII