Friday, April 17, 2015

A Queer thing: Discrimination a la carte.

Federal, State, City, and workplace anti-discrimination laws and policies can seem like a very muddled and confusing thing. It's almost like an "a la carte" type of governing.

Federally, you cannot discriminate based on race, color, sex, religion, age, disability and national origin. Many states do have protections against same sex discrimination, but then, some states have this protection and the cities in the states do not. Conversely, some cities protect against discrimination of homosexuals, but the state does not. This is all very confusing and can cause some horrific scenarios when it comes to businesses that discriminate.

Then, there is the issue of City Government protection. Some City Governments have protection from discrimination of homosexuals while their state does not. For example, in Pennsylvania, homosexuals can get married, but homosexuals can be denied housing and other services and can be fired from their jobs for being homosexual. The city government of Pittsburgh has an anti-discrimination policy, but other communities don't. A workplace can have an anti-discrimination policy and the State, City and local governments don't. Here's an excellent article from The Washington Post about States that are allowing gay discrimination:
Washington Post

To find out exactly what kind of protection your city, county, and/or state provides to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination, you can visit the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund website at Lambda maintains a list of state-by-state antidiscrimination laws, as well as other laws specifically affecting gays and lesbians. If you need additional information, you can contact the Lambda office in your region. There, an intake volunteer will either answer your question or, if you need more help, connect you with a volunteer attorney.

The time has come for a Federal anti-discrimination law.