A man named Dennis Hastert has joined a major law firm called Dickstein Shapiro. Why is this news? Because Hastert is the former speaker of the house for the Republicans in the House of Representatives, and Dickstein Shapiro has a standard diversity clause saying that it provides a welcoming environment for LGBT staff.
The diversity clause:
Our Firm has a steadfast commitment to fostering a diverse work environment in which racial and ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals enjoy an atmosphere of inclusion and respect.
As Holly at Feministe points out, this is a storm in a teacup:
To you or me, this might look like yet another meaningless token statement in favor of diversity. Especially with the standard GLBT formula, it seems statistically probable that Dickstein Shapiro hasn’t employed a single trans person. But that doesn’t really matter for the purposes of wingnuttery; they have a formulaic web page that says they’re willing to include transgender people.
Indeed – and not that political voting record should affect employment either, but the firm thinks Hastert makes a good fit, even though he “voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation as recently as November, 2007, and for a constitutional amendment to deny gay people marriage rights”, according to Open Left.
Meanwhile, in an alternative universe, right wing pundits are reacting like this:
Shame on Dennis Hastert for joining tranny lobbyist firm
That is the headline chosen by an advisor to the supposedly-moderate Republican candidate for the forthcoming US elections, John McCain, by the way.
Just wow – it really demonstrates the depth of the problem, when the right has this reaction to a law firm making a bare-minimum on-paper commitment to creating a safe and diverse employment environment.