July 16, 2015
As part of our partnership with Halifax Pride, members of the business community joined us for lunch and networking to kick off Halifax Pride Week celebrations. Our firm believes that a workplace rich in diversity inspires our team to realize their full potential and enhances our ability to deliver exceptional services our clients. Words shared at today’s event by Charlottetown lawyer Ryan Baxter demonstrate that it is our people who shape the culture in which we work.
I am not like you. And you are not like me. We are all different. Thank goodness for that.
As humans we share many similar attributes, but our truly defining feature is that on an individual level we are all different. This is the triumph of evolution, of diversity, of life. Imagine if we were all blank, white, non-descript pieces of paper. The same paper we thoughtlessly use each and every day. Throughout the entire world, 7 billion plus pieces of dreary, washed out, monochromic pieces of computer paper. I would be hoping that someone would spill the ink.
Our differences do not make us special or unique, they make us human.
Pride is about many things. To me, it is about being human. I am celebrating being human. Yes, today, I am celebrating. And, I am so pleased that you joined to celebrate with me.
But what am I celebrating? First, I am not celebrating gay rights. Let’s get this straight – pun intended – they are called rights, not gay rights. I am celebrating rights, plain and simple. Just like this morning, when I woke up in my hotel and had breakfast. I didn’t wake up in my gay hotel and have gay breakfast. I had breakfast, period.
Recently, the United States Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges. This decision was not about gay marriage, this decision was about marriage. This decision was about allowing humans….humans who are different to marry…not gay marry. And it was about time.
Luckily, in Canada, we were ahead of the curve by over 10 years. If Hillary Clinton is elected, we will have been ahead of the Americans by over 20 years, thank you Kim Campbell.
McInnes Cooper is also ahead of the curve. Conservatism tends to linger in the professional realm, and law firms are not immune to his woeful phenomena. Dark navy blue suits and crisp white collared shirts, I was told while in law school, were the only way to go. But there were no barriers to tear down or glass ceilings to break when I joined McInnes Cooper. I was accepted. Not tolerated, because tolerance is for the insincere, but I was accepted. McInnes Cooper has fully embraced and equipped me with all the tools needed to start on the long path of what I hope will be a long and successful career. A career that has already allowed me to work with clients who are gay from faraway lands striving to settle permanently in Canada.
Our commitment to inclusion is evident by the important work done by our Collective Social Responsibility team and our Diversity and Inclusion committee, such as our participation in next weekend’s pride parade.
Our clients are helping make a difference, too. Including the Barristers’ Society of Nova Scotia in its case against Trinity Western University and my client trying to start a freer, more inclusive life in Canada.
Our clients are helping us spill the ink and for that I am thankful.
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