You Can Be Fired Simply For Being Gay In 29 US States. And It Happens
April 1, 2015 #gay #lgbt
By AlexKelst

This is not news. But the fact is, most Americans don't know the truth. The truth is: you can be fired from your job simply for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. And unfortunately, it does happen.

For instance, this story of someone's experience was recently posted on reddit:

If you can't read it, the user writes (transcribed in italics below):

I'm crying and shaking right now, forgive me if I say anything too nonsensical. Let me preface this by saying we live in Mississippi. So there's that. 

Okay. My friend, who is a wonderful, awesome, hard-working person, has the singular misfortune to live in the American South. He has had to struggle his whole life to be accepted, endured abuse at home, ostracization from peers, the whole lot. He has finally made a life for himself, having worked at Jimmy John's for the last several years, eventually making it to manager.

Apparently some of his subordinates were okay with having him as a peer, but they began to stir up drama and trouble on account of having a "faggot" for a boss, and instead of disciplining the troublemakers, the GM decides to fire my friend, with it being totally obvious his sexual orientation is a problem (which is perfectly legal in this shitty state).

I goddamn love Jimmy John's. And I am never, ever eating there again.

In case you don't know, Jimmy Johns is a sandwich chain restaurant with over 2,000 locations in 4 different states, according to Wikipedia. This kind of management practice as described in the post is bigotry, plain and simple. And frankly, a large majority of Americans agree. So why is it still legal?

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), LGBT people are not protected from employment discrimination in 29 states (33 for transgender people). In fact, only 18 states have explicitly granted such protections to LGBT people. 

The federal law that would protect LGBT people from this blatant bigotry is called the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA). But the federal government has not succeeded in passing this law, despite massive public support: 73% of likely voters are in favor of it, including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. 

So what's going on? Why hasn't it passed? Some argue that there is less public support for protections for transgender people, but LGBT leaders refuse to leave transgender people behind only to have to fight another round. The current sticking point, according to the ACLU which recently testified in favor of the law, are religious exemptions. These would allow religious organizations to discriminate against LGBT people. I suppose politics makes issues like these complicated, despite overwhelming public support, but the bottom line is: ENDA must be passed, and soon.

Check out the ACLU blog for more true stories about people losing their jobs simply for being LGBT as well as the recent story of this trans woman.
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