Skip to main content

You make this possible. Support our independent, nonprofit newsroom today.

Give Now

Gov. Inslee directive targets more LGBTQ inclusive workplaces for state agencies

Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants to recognize the LGBTQ community for more than just one month out of the year.

So he's issued a directive to promote LGBTQ inclusion practices and policies into state government.

In a video message, Inslee says the state's work isn't done when it comes to improving on LGBTQ community issues and policies.

And that's why he's directing state agencies to continue to foster inclusion with this new initiative.

Inslee: "We'll also be sharing best practices that we're already doing and spreading good ideas throughout state government. And I'm directing state agencies to develop safe places in state agencies bringing smart programs that are already working in Seattle to all the state of Washington."

Inslee is referring to how the directive was inspired by a program started in Seattle a little over a year ago.

Safe Places Seattle was created to address the rise in crimes against LGBTQ people, particularly on Seattle's Capitol Hill.

The program makes it easier for victims of hate crimes to find a local business that will shelter and help them while they call 911. The businesses display a special rainbow logo in their window.

Seattle police officer Jim Ritter is the program's liaison.

Ritter: "Well it started a conversation which hadn't been had before. Its brought a lot of public attention to the problems some of the victims from the LGBT community have in dealing with people on the street who may assault or harass them because of their sexual identity or perceived sexual identity."

Ritter said the program has helped increase the reporting of these types of crimes in the community.

The state's version would start by creating an employee focus group that would develop more inclusive workplaces.

Why you can trust KUOW