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Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Announce The 2012 Outie Award Winners

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Employee Resource Group of the Year Award recognizes a particular ERG, sometimes referred to as a business group or network, with an exemplary track record of leadership in advocating for LGBT equal rights over the past year. The LGBT ERG of the Year Award was given to OutServe (U.S. Department of Defense).

OutServe-SLDN—the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel—was instrumental in overturning the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which forced LGBT service members to make the difficult decision of being fired for disclosing their identity, or remaining in the closet. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. OutServe-SLDN represents more than six thousand LGBT service members, making it the largest LGBT employee resource group in the United States.

The Workplace Excellence Award recognizes an employer that has an ongoing commitment to workplace equality, demonstrated by unquestioned leadership, dedication and innovation on behalf of LGBT employees everywhere. The Workplace Excellence Award was given to Google.

Google is a leader in establishing innovative policies that protect and affirm LGBT people in the workplace. From providing transgender sensitivity training to employees, to establishing some of the very best benefits for transgender people in the world, Google has rightly earned its 100% Corporate Equality Index rating. Recently, Google worked in conjunction with the It Gets Better Project to create a national advertising campaign, profiling how the It Gets Better project has helped thousands share their own stories on YouTube, forever impacting the lives of at-risk LGBT youth. Externally, the company has been a leader in empowering non-profit organizations to drive change in the broader community and has publicly supported expanding LGBT rights at the federal level, including filing amicus briefs to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

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