“With all of the momentum behind same-sex marriage, the fact that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people lack a crucial yet basic protection often goes unnoticed: there is still no federal law that explicitly protects workers from job discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
” ‘Where we are headed with marriage is fantastic, but at the same time, in over half of states you can be legally fired for being gay or transgender and no one is talking about that,’ said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project, a research group that co-wrote a recent report about the job discrimination and the various financial inequities that gay people face in the workplace.
“That means even if the Supreme Court were to declare that the law that denies same-sex married couples federal benefits was unconstitutional — it is expected to weigh in on the issue this month — such a decision could have a perverse effect: workers who may be permitted to add a same-sex spouse to a pension or a health plan, for instance, would be forced to expose their sexuality in a potentially hostile workplace to receive those benefits.”
This story in last week’s New York Times can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/your-money/protections-for-gays-in-workplace-are-piecemeal.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. It gives examples of people who have been recently fired. This is why we need to tell Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr and Congressman Howard Coble that it is important to pass ENDA (Employment Non-Discrinination Act) as a federal law.