Following our Open Letter last week addressed to 20 major corporations which provide support or sponsorship to Australia’s two largest LGBTIQ festivals – the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and Melbourne’s Midsumma – cosmetics superbrand LUSH Cosmetics and employment behemoth SEEK have both publicly spoken out in support of anti-bullying program, Safe Schools.
As reported by the country’s leading LGBTIQ newspaper, the Star Observer, the UK-based LUSH Cosmetics said it was very much in favour of Safe Schools:
“Lush are disappointed that the Safe Schools program has been de-railed by a group of minority conservative politicians whose views we find a disgrace in today’s society,” Lush Cosmetics spokesperson Aliya Hutchison told the Star Observer.
“Last week’s changes are a step in the wrong direction in making all young people feel valued and supported.
“Last week’s change saw some of our most vulnerable young people be used as a political football. This program has been proven to save lives. We wouldn’t give parents an opt out of a program on racism, so why do we allow it on sexuality? The ultimate goal should be ensuring acceptance.”
Job seach giant SEEK said it too was right behind the goals of Safe Schools:
“We support the Safe Schools initiative, any program that is designed to educate youth on sexual and gender diversity to combat homophobia we see as a step in the right direction,” the company stated.
“Programs such as this create the foundations required to in future, have more inclusive and diverse workplaces.”
Unfortunately, other major corporations were not so open to giving their views on the matter.
Airline giants Qantas and Jetstar said they would”leave the detailed commentary about school curriculum to the experts”.
While both Telstra and NAB said “their companies had in-house LGBTI networks and supported diversity but did not confirm whether they would publicly support Safe Schools”.
Meanwhile, Mardi Gras’s biggest corporate sponsor, ANZ bank, remained quiet. The bank is currently embroiled in a scandal involving the Malaysian Prime Minister and the laundering of possibly millions upon millions of dollars through its Asian branch.
We guess two out of 20 ain’t too bad. It’s a start…
Do you think more companies should be speaking out on behalf of the LGBTIQ community, particularly for at-risk children? Let us know your thoughts below.