Yesterday President Obama declared his support for same sex marriage. (Kudos Mr. President). His statement came on the heels of Vice President Joe Biden taking the same stance on Meet the Press over the weekend. While these statements will certainly have political ramifications, what do they have to do with HR? If nothing else, they demonstrate a shift in cultural norms. To have a sitting President articulate his support of gay rights in such a clear way is, in some ways, groundbreaking. The law is sure to follow, whether in the very near future or at some later date. But I do think change is inevitable.
This matters for recruitment and retention of employees. Younger employees overwhelmingly support marriage equality and gay rights. Even if your state does not legally mandate a prohibition against sexual-orientation based discrimination, why not embrace the cultural shift along with the President? Your policies and trainings should reflect your stance on this issue.