Let me preface this article for perfectly clarity for my readers. I do not believe the LGBT community is special, I don’t believe they need special laws, special protections, special anything. A gay man should have no more protection than myself. That being said I also believe completely in the free market. A company should be allowed to terminate employees for any reason. Who is the government to tell a man how to run his business? As an informed consumer you decide if you like a business and its practices with your money.
Gay rights advocates hailed the bipartisan, 64-32 vote as a historic step although it could prove short-lived. A foe of the bill, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has signaled that the Republican-led House is unlikely to even vote. Senate proponents were looking for a way around that obstacle.
I hope they vote honestly, and shut it down. I am angered that people are looking for a way to circumvent the legislative process.
The meat and potatoes of this bill is that all employers who have more than 15 workers cannot:
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the individual, because of such individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity; or
(2)to limit, segregate, or classify the employees or applicants for employment of the employer in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment or otherwise adversely affect the status of the individual as an employee, because of such individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
This law specifically states:
Nothing in this Act shall prohibit an employer from requiring an employee, during the employee’s hours at work, to adhere to reasonable dress or grooming standards not prohibited by other provisions of Federal, State, or local law, provided that the employer permits any employee who has undergone gender transition prior to the time of employment, and any employee who has notified the employer that the employee has undergone or is undergoing gender transition after the time of employment, to adhere to the same dress or grooming standards as apply for the gender to which the employee has transitioned or is transitioning.
I have to ask however, if the first part quoted allows for the perceived gender identity why does this part not? Or is that twist waiting to be fought out later in the supreme court? I know at the last job I held there were different dress codes for men and women, particularly the use of collared shirts and the type of pants allowed. It at that level is not a big deal but if a man is wearing a dress, and still looks like a man, that could be detrimental to your business and you ultimately may be forced to endure the action of your employee.
The purposes of this Act are—
(1)to address the history and persistent, widespread pattern of discrimination, including unconstitutional discrimination, on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity by private sector employers and local, State, and Federal Government employers;
(2)to provide an explicit, comprehensive Federal prohibition against employment discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity, including meaningful and effective remedies for any such discrimination; and
(3)to invoke congressional powers, including the powers to enforce the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, and to regulate interstate commerce pursuant to section 8 of article I of the Constitution, in order to prohibit employment discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Can any one cite me documented cases of gays being fired for being gay? I have worked with a few and none of them were fired. This may have existed in the military before the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but I addressed that issue in another blog concerning Max Baucus. I am looking for private sector examples.
The text I believe they are referring to in the 14th amendment is this:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Once again as you see often with the first amendment and the “separation of church and state” this is a failure of understanding of the constitution. First off I am sure there is no law saying that you must be fired for being gay or transgendered or confused or whatever. So your rights have not been abridged. Concerning equal protection of the laws, all laws on the books apply equally to us, this bill is not a law yet, and we are equally protected. You are not being fired for being a woman, or black, or Jewish, all rights I also hold.
If you are fired for changing genders, and this some how affects your job, then you are being fired for a choice you made. If you are gay and show excessive PDA at work with your significant other, you are being fired for something that straight couples can be fired for as well. If you are a male that identifies as a woman, and use the woman’s restroom and get fired for that, remember you are getting fired for something that I as a straight white male would also be fired for.
As I have stated many times, the LGBT community DOES NOT need special protections. Gay or not you are held today to the same rules as I am.
There is also the issue of religious freedom and liberty. Just because you run a business does not mean you toss away your core values.
Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana said the legislation would force employers to violate their religious beliefs.
“There’s two types of discrimination here we’re dealing with, and one of those goes to the very fundamental right granted to every American through our Constitution, a cherished value of freedom of expression and religion,” Coats said.
The bill would bar employers with 15 or more workers from using a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for making employment decisions, including hiring, firing, compensation or promotion. It would exempt religious institutions and the military.
The Senate approved an amendment from Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire that would prevent federal, state and local governments from retaliating against religious groups that are exempt from the law.
The Senate rejected an amendment sponsored by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania that would have expanded the number of groups that are covered under the religious exemption.
Apparently people much smarter than myself believe the religious exemption is not broad enough. If the ACA and its religious issues are any indication of this I am inclined to believe them.
Where is the protection for straight people? For married people? For single people. Talk about abridging rights……