A dear friend of mine–let’s call her Jen–got a good job and seemed poised for professional success. However, after she came out as lesbian, her coworkers started making obscene and homophobic remarks to her. To make matters worse, Jen’s supervisor gave her more demanding assignments than other coworkers and not enough time to complete these tasks.
Jen filed a complaint but it was not treated seriously by her employer. As a result, no action was taken to improve her work environment. This was unfair, upsetting, and demoralizing for Jen and she developed health problems because of all the stress. Ultimately, she quit her job.
Jen’s story is one reason why employment nondiscrimination is at the top of my “gay agenda” (yes, I have one!), and why I think it’s important to educate others about the serious discrimination and harrassment that LGBTQ people face in the workplace.
Do you know that it remains legal in 30 states to fire or refuse to hire someone simply because of his/her/hir sexual orientation? And in 38 states it is legal to do so based on his/her/hir gender identity?
We here at SF Unbound say it’s time to outlaw employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity! Please support the new gender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which was just introduced in the House. ENDA would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or discriminate against an employee based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. It gives no “special rights;” rather, it merely extends the existing federal law prohibiting employment discrimination to protect LGBTQ people.
5 Things You Can Do to Stand up for LGBTQ Civil Rights and Worker Justice:
- Go to United ENDA and send an email to Congress.
- Urge your Representative to become a cosponsor of ENDA (that’s H.R. 2981) by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. The operator will connect you to your Representative–you just have to give them your zip code. Or you can email your Rep at Write Your Representative.
- If you have a blog, use it to help get the word out about the new trans-inclusive ENDA bill.
- Join the Inclusive ENDA group on Facebook.
- Talk to your family & friends about why ENDA is necessary.