Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ban on Gay Bias Gains Key Supporter in the Senate

1. Ban on Gay Bias Gains Key Supporter in the Senate. (2013 October 30) New York Times.

2. Category of problem: Gay rights, employer discrimination

3. Level of problem: National level

4. The article concerns: The pending state of the Employee Nondiscrimination Act; a bill which renders all discriminatory workplace practices regarding sexual orientation and gender expression illegal. After nearly forty years, the bill has finally received enough congressional support to produce a substantial probability that it will become law.

5. Why this is important: If the Employee Nondiscrimination Act becomes law, it will become illegal for employers to discriminate against (prospective, current or past) employees based on their sexual orientation and/or gender expression. Employees who feel they have been discriminated based on these criteria will now be able to seek justice and/or compensation in a civil court.

6. My views on this issue/policy: I feel that the Employee Nondiscrimination Act will be one of the greatest victories for gay rights to date and I'm ecstatic that it's being supported by party members on both sides of the aisle. The ability to acquire a job, as well as work in a safe and supportive environment, are among the most integral foundations for health and success in the US.

When a certain demographic (in this case the LGBTQ community) experiences systematic oppression, such as work or voting discrimination, it results in perpetuated oppression of that demographic. Systematic oppression of LGBTQ people have contributed to higher rates of suicide, mental and physical health problems and decreased access to medical care. To deny an entire demographic the right to fight discrimination in the workplace creates a substantial disadvantage in terms of that demographic's ability to get and secure a job, and subsequently attain health and success. Without laws in place to protect the workplace rights of the LGBTQ community, the community will be crippled by its oppressors and thus doomed to a perpetuated cycle of oppression.

American values espouse a system of upward mobility, civil rights and fairness for all; to neglectfully allow discrimination against LGBTQ individuals to persist is to disregard defining American laws and values and ignore the fundamental rights of an entire group of people based solely on the fact that their sexual practices are (debate-ably) in conflict with a Christian text.

For this bill to not pass would be simply unacceptable.

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