How to establish LGBT employment non-discrimination policies at Catholic institutions

Catholic social teaching calls on the laity to take action when they see injustice. One of the most effective ways to help LGBT+ church workers is to work locally within individual Catholic institutions to adopt policies that protect workers based on sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, and personal support for marriage equality. New Ways Ministry has compiled a list of several suggestions to help get this process started.

These include:

  1. Identify other people in your parish, school, or other institution who support LGBT equality.  Brainstorm with them what might work best locally in your particular situation.
  2. Propose such policies to the various decision-makers in an institution. Don’t just approach the person at the top of the hierarchy (e.g., pastor or principal).  Work with the “middle managers” who affect the decision makers, such as a parish council, a parent-teacher associations, a social justice committee, a diversity task force, or others who have influence.
  3. Collect signatures on a petition to institute a non-discrimination policy to present to the local decision-makers.
  4. Gather testimonies about how such firings reflect negatively on the Church’s image.  Gather these not only from LGBT people, but from other Catholics who disagree with discriminatory employment practices.
  5. Gather testimonies on the spiritual gifts and professional skills of LGBT people from those whose lives are touched by them, such as parents, family members, friends, parishioners, students, colleagues, and alumni.
  6. Develop your arguments around the Catholic ideas of justice and equality. The Catholic social justice tradition protects the rights of workers, it respects differences among people, it promotes the equal treatment of all people, it respects everyone’s inherent human dignity.
  7. If appropriate, work regionally with other parishes, schools, and Catholic institutions in your area so that more than one place will simultaneously adopt such policies.

Read more at New Ways Ministry.