LGBTQ+ Discrimination in the Workplace

Lately, there’s always some sort of ethical dilemma in the news. One being that you can still get fired in at least 30 states just for being gay.

It’s crazy to think that homosexuality still has a place in our society but we keep seeing situations where it begins to affect not only personal, but professional life as well.

Meet Rachel Colvin, for example.

She’s been an English teacher from Ballarat Christian College since 2008 and was fired in 2019. Why was she fired, you ask? She supports same sex marriage. The school informed her that she “… would no longer be offered certain teaching and professional development opportunities.” She was also required to attend counseling sessions with the head of teaching. (Martin, 2019).

This isn’t even a rare occurence:

Margie Winters and Stacy Bailey, are both teachers who were fired after students then parents received wind of their marital status. Aimee Stephens, a funeral home director who confided in her supervisor that she was transgender was later fired for doing so. Finally, Don Zarda was a skydiver who cracked a friendly joke to a client about his sexuality to make them feel better which later led to his career being cut short.

Seems illegal, doesn’t it? The problem is it is not illegal. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. It doesn’t specify sexual orientation. Ethically, this amendment should be worked around in order to promote more inclusive terms for all and what benefits more people in the long run. The aggregate good means allowing for everyone to do their job regardless of their sexual orientation, because who is it harming?

72 countries see homosexuality as a severe crime and 12 countries have homosexuality punishable by death.

Will we see change in the future? Possibly. The supreme court is currently reviewing a case which could either ban or allow the discrimination of LGBT+ people in the workplace.

Hopefully the decision goes the right way and we can provide the same protections granted to everyone else to the LGBTQ+ community.

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