“All lives have equal value.”
Those of us who work at the foundation hear that phrase often. It is the guiding principle behind the Gates family’s generosity. It inspires and animates the work of the foundation’s partners and grantees. And it captures the spirit that brought many of us here to work on, among other things, ensuring that people around the world have access to life-saving vaccines and basic health care for children, mothers, and families; giving students in the United States an education that prepares them for success in college and beyond; and fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa, India, and China, with a special emphasis on vulnerable sexual minorities and sex workers.
And it’s why foundation employees and their partners, families, and friends will march on June 24 in Seattle’s annual LGBT Pride Parade for a second year in a row.
We also march because those of us at the foundation who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender feel in a very tangible way the commitment of the Gates family to equality and the dignity of all people in the way we and our families are treated at work—which is to say exactly the way those employees who identify as straight are treated. Our benefits are the same, regardless of the gender of our spouses. Our opportunities in the workplace, and our chances for failure and success, are the same. Our contributions are valued and honored in the same way. Because all lives have equal value.
For LGBT employees, marching in the gay pride parade is not only an honor, it practically feels like an imperative!