It still shocks (and mostly just disappoints) me how SHOCKED people are when I tell them that it is 100% legal to be fired simply for being gay.
They look at me like I’m lying and say things like “nooooo, that can’t be right?”.
I have been fired twice (in Ohio) for being openly gay.
I have been asked:
- to not wear my wedding ring
- Not acknowledge my wife’s existence
- To “just say you have a husband”
- To just not answer “yes” when people ask if I’m married because “you’re not REALLY married”
- To not bring my wife to the company FAMILY Christmas party
- Let people just assume we’re sisters
- Just make it easier on everyone and “just say you’re divorced”
These were not requests made from some Mom and Pop shop, I was a corporate executive for a large chain of high volume restaurants. My boss was the Director of Human Resources, and she would walk into my office and say the most ignorant things you can imagine.
People in America need to be educated on the reality that is life as a gay person in this country.
It’s not all gay pride parades and appletinis.
We need a leg to stand on.
We need people to wake up and educate themselves on the rights we are denied.
We need people…gay, straight, and in between, to open their eyes, stop ignoring what doesn’t directly effect them, and educate themselves.
In all of the states colored red, it is also legal to fire (or refuse to hire) someone on the basis of gender identity or expression. In addition, in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachussetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, and Wisconsin, it’s illegal to fire (or refuse to hire) someone on the basis of sexual orientation, but it is legal to fire (or refuse to hire) on the basis of gender identity and expression (source here). That’s why it was such a big deal when people wanted to cut gender identity and expression out of ENDA.
I’ll also point out that even in states where it’s illegal to discriminate in employment on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression, it still happens. A lot.
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