Employees and students are increasingly experiencing an increase of harassment in the workplace and schools, officials said.
Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory LGBT Network President/CEO David Kilmnick held a press conference on Wednesday, National Coming Out Day to foster safe workplaces ad schools.
“We are living in a divisive political climate that is reaching every corner of our country,” said Gregory, who is the parent of an LGBT child. “Here in Suffolk County, we are seeing an uptick in hate group activity.”
According to Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, one in four LGBT workers claim they have experienced workplace discrimination in the last five years. And additional reports indicate that nearly two-thirds of LGBT employees have heard discriminatory comments in the workplace and over 85 percent of LGBT students report verbal harassment in their schools, according to Gregory. Standing with Gregory and Kilmnick was Aaron Braun, who said he was harassed in the workplace.
Gregory said that he was sending “a message that there is no room for hate in this world. Every single person deserves to feel safe in their homes, in their schools, and in their workplaces, no matter their sexual orientation – or for that matter, color of their skin, ethnicity, or religion.”
More than 250,000 Long Islanders have vouched to back safe workplaces and schools, according to Gregory.