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Yes, You Can Fire Me For Being Gay14 min read

May 10, 2018 | In the News | 0 comments

Yes, you can fire me for being gay…

   Seriously, in 29 states right now, in 2018, if an employee chooses to come out at work (ya know, like even just mentions being their partner’s name) they can be fired on the spot and the state does absolutely nothing to protect them. The passage of marriage equality actually has had a bizarre and negative effect on LGBTQ+ people living in these states. There has been more than one case of a person getting married over the weekend, coming back to work on Monday, mentioning that they got married over the weekend, and fired the same day. This has been particularly common in religious institutions like Catholic school. So why is this a problem?

“…it doesn’t pass because of a lack of support, or what I assume to be some kind of “House of Cards”-like persuasion.”

     Well, first of all… it’s a problem because it’s blatant discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the first document in America to specifically protect certain classes from discrimination. That Act protected: race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Since the early 70’s there have been bills brought before Congress to add sexual orientation to that hallmark Act. As a matter of fact, it has been passed and subsequently passed over in Congress nearly every single year since 1996. Inevitably it doesn’t pass because of a lack of support, or what I assume to be some kind of “House of Cards”-like persuasion. Regardless of the reasoning, the elected officials in our nation have not found it all that important to pass legislation that simply says, “don’t fire people because they’re LGBTQ+ you ass.”     So what’s the problem? Well, first of all, states rights. I think there are some amazing facets to states rights, and will always support the fact that each state has its own set of challenges, and as such, must also have its own set of solutions. That said, There is a spectrum of state responses to this issue. First of all, and probably unsurprising, many of the blue leaning states have enacted their own legislation to protect LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination. And some of the purple states have added protections for state employees, but not private sector employees. However, there are some states that have taken the time and energy to pass legislation to make it against the law to pass future legislation to protect LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination.
    I will say that again: There are state elected officials that have spent their tax-paid-time making it illegal to protect LGBTQ people from being fired for their identity in any foreseeable future. I know that LGBTQ issues can be polarizing, but I can’t help but think that voters in those states might prefer their congress-people fix education or infrastructure before encouraging the manager at a burger-palace to fire Rebekah for holding hands in the parking lot. “You’re customer service is incredible Becky, but as a Christian, I just think you should be job-less for being in same-sex love in the great state of Tennessee.”     Is this infuriating? Yes. Is it terrifying? Oh hell yes. Is it unfixable? No girl. Becky, grab your girlfriend’s hand and get a marker because we’ve got some work to do.

“…I just think you should be job-less for being in same-sex love in the great state of Tennessee.”

    Start by voting. Then posting about voting. Then sharing other people’s postings about voting. Then share this blog post to make other people aware of this state sponsored bigotry. Then march. Talk about the march. Get your phone out and record bigotry when you witness it. Stand up to bigotry, ESPECIALLY if you are a White person witnessing racism! (The intersectionality of being queer and of color is like devastating in environments that don’t support either). If I’m getting fired I want it to be because of the hours I spend in the bathroom liking and sharing cat videos, or because I’m ALWAYS the guy who steals someone’s K-Cup. I would rather get told that my office shenanigans, like getting everyone to figure out which Starbuck’s coffee option they are, is why I got sacked, not because I kiss boys. Honestly, my kissing boys should be the least of your concerns, you doppio espresso bigot.

Yes, you can fire me for being gay…

 

    Seriously, in 29 states right now, in 2018, if an employee chooses to come out at work (ya know, like even just mentions being married to a same sex partner) they can be fired on the spot and the state does absolutely nothing to protect them. The passage of marriage equality actually has had a bizarre negative effect on LGBTQ+ people living in these states. There has been more than one case of a person getting married over the weekend, coming back to work on Monday, mentioning that they got married over the weekend, and fired the same day. This has been particularly common in religious institutions like Catholic school. So why is this a problem?

“…it doesn’t pass because of a lack of support, or what I assume to be some kind of “House of Cards”-like persuasion.”

   Well, first of all… it’s a problem because it’s blatant discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the first document in America to specifically protect certain classes from discrimination. That Act protected: race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Since the early 70’s there have been bills brought before Congress to add sexual orientation to that hallmark Act. As a matter of fact, it has been passed and subsequently passed over in Congress nearly every single year since 1996. Inevitably it doesn’t pass because of a lack of support, or what I assume to be some kind of “House of Cards”-like persuasion. Regardless of the reasoning, the elected officials in our nation have not found it all that important to pass legislation that simply says, “don’t fire people because they’re LGBTQ+ you ass.”

    So what’s the problem? Well, first of all, states rights. I think there are some amazing facets to states rights, and will always support the fact that each state has its own set of challenges, and as such, must also have its own set of solutions. That said, There is a spectrum of state responses to this issue. First of all, and probably unsurprising, many of the blue leaning states have enacted their own legislation to protect LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination. And some of the purple states have added protections for state employees, but not private sector employees. However, there are some states that have taken the time and energy to pass legislation to make it against the law to pass future legislation to protect LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination.

      I will say that again: There are state elected officials that have spent their tax-paid-time making it illegal to protect LGBTQ people from being fired for their identity in any foreseeable future. I know that LGBTQ issues can be polarizing, but I can’t help but think that voters in those states might prefer their congress-people fix education or infrastructure before encouraging the manager at a burger-palace to fire Rebekah for holding hands in the parking lot. “You’re customer service is incredible Becky, but as a Christian, I just think you should be job-less for being in same-sex love in the great state of Tennessee.”

Is this infuriating? Yes. Is it terrifying? Oh hell yes. Is it unfixable? No girl. Becky, grab your girlfriend’s hand and get a marker because we’ve got some work to do.

“I just think you should be job-less for being in same-sex love in the great state of Tennessee.”

    Start by voting. Then posting about voting. Then sharing other people’s postings about voting. Then share this blog post to make other people aware of this state sponsored bigotry. Then march. Talk about the march. Get your phone out and record bigotry when you witness it. Stand up to bigotry, ESPECIALLY if you are a White person witnessing racism! (The intersectionality of being queer and of color is like devastating in environments that don’t support either). If I’m getting fired I want it to be because of the hours I spend in the bathroom liking and sharing cat videos, or because I’m ALWAYS the guy who steals someone’s K-Cup. I would rather get told that my office shenanigans, like getting everyone to figure out which Starbuck’s coffee option they are, is why I got sacked, not because I kiss boys. Honestly, my kissing boys should be the least of your concerns, you doppio espresso bigot.

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Nathaniel Gray

Nathaniel Gray

Founder, Writer, and LGBTQ+ Empathy Mentor

Nathaniel is a social worker, mentor for parents of LGBTQ+ youth, and facilitator/empathy mentor. He started out in NYC as a singer/dancer/actor from the heartland (O-H-I-O) getting his BFA in Musical Theater from Pace University. After years of performance, Nathaniel turned to working with youth, as an educator and administrator at Fusion Academy. Since then he has completed his Master’s in Social Work at Fordham University and started The Proud Path, as well as worked with the Ali Forney Center and the Hetrick-Martin Institute, agencies addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. His mission is to learn everything he can about the coming out process to assist others through it, and develop empathy within those who never have to.
Nathaniel Gray

Nathaniel Gray

Founder, Writer, and LGBTQ+ Empathy Mentor

Nathaniel is a social worker, mentor for parents of LGBTQ+ youth, and facilitator/empathy mentor. He started out in NYC as a singer/dancer/actor from the heartland (O-H-I-O) getting his BFA in Musical Theater from Pace University. After years of performance, Nathaniel turned to working with youth, as an educator and administrator at Fusion Academy. Since then he has completed his Master’s in Social Work at Fordham University and started The Proud Path, as well as worked with the Ali Forney Center and the Hetrick-Martin Institute, agencies addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. His mission is to learn everything he can about the coming out process to assist others through it, and develop empathy within those who never have to.

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