Baker McKenzie believes that all LGBT+ people in Northern Ireland should have the same marriage rights as the rest of the UK. Joining one of Northern Ireland's principal LGBT+ organizations - the Rainbow Project, alongside other local businesses including international employers Citi, PwC and Deloitte, the Firm has signed an open letter expressing its support for the extension of civil marriage in Northern Ireland.
The letter reads:
We, the undersigned write to express our support for the extension of civil marriage in Northern Ireland. As employers we encourage and welcome diversity and inclusion in our workforce and recognise the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender employees to be themselves and to live and work, free from discrimination, prejudice or exclusion. A diverse, outward-looking and inclusive society is essential to create a vibrant and competitive economy and a prosperous future for Northern Ireland. To achieve that goal, we believe our people should have equal access to the same rights, entitlements, responsibilities and freedoms enjoyed elsewhere in the United Kingdom. As employers, striving to attract the best talent to Northern Ireland and to retain the skilled employees we already have, extending equal civil marriage in Northern Ireland makes sense to us. Equality contributes to an environment of creativity and excellence where our LGB&T staff feel able to bring their whole selves to the workplace and where their relationships will be respected.
James Richards, Executive Director of Baker McKenzie's Belfast office said, "As a global firm, diversity is part of our DNA - and we take considerable pride in what we do to advance LGBT+ equality around the world. We believe that no-one should be put at a disadvantage, professionally, financially or socially, on the basis of who they are. Here in Belfast, we have a well established LGBT+ network and are proud to be joining other leading companies to send a powerful message, encouraging others to respect and support LGBT+ people in Northern Ireland."