What would you do if you are a supervisor and one of your employees refused to attend an organizational LGBT training program? Your organization has established this training to give the employees a better understanding of the LGBT lifestyle. Your employee is refusing to attend the training on the basis of religious beliefs against the LGBT lifestyle.
Answer: The LGBT lifestyle is alive and well in our society and one is likely to encounter someone practicing that lifestyle in any venue–in social places, vacation places, entertainment places, religious places, market places, or the workplace. In the workplace, leaders will undoubtedly be faced with decisions about workplace interpersonal relations between people who practice the lifestyle and those who don’t. When it comes to training, it seems logical to educate everyone about the lifestyle of those in the LGBT community to reduce the number of incidents that hamper organizational productivity. In the event an organization establishes such a program, the purpose of the program should be made crystal clear to the employees. Leaders should explain that the purpose of the program is to educate everyone about the LGBT lifestyle so that everyone can at least understand it. It should also be made clear that understanding why individuals practice the lifestyle does not necessarily mean agreeing with it. It is understandable that some of the employees might resist attending the training because of their religious beliefs. Therefore, supervisors should not be required to force those individuals to attend the training. But everyone, including those not attending the training, should be advised that the organization will not tolerate any discrimination, ridicule, or other acts of misconduct leveled toward any person regardless of their culture, race, religion, or sexual preference. I would also recommend that any decision to excuse anyone based on religious beliefs should be made at the executive level so that all leaders across the organization are operating from the same policy/guidelines.