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UN-Happy Labor Day! – 60 Percent of LGBT State Workers Have NO Workplace Protections – PASS ENDA NOW!

A new report released by the Center for American Progress and AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees entitled “Gay and Transgender Discrimination in the Public Sector: shows that a majority of state government employees are currently working in states that fail to offer legal protections to LGBT public sector workers. With approximately one million LGBT individuals in America working in state, local, or municipal government, only 21 states and the District of Columbia have any laws specifically protecting gay workers.

  • 57 percent of state employees work in a state where no legal protections are afforded to gay individuals.
  • 69 percent live in state where no legal protections are afforded to transgender individuals.
  • Only a minority of state employees (just over four in ten, or 42.6 percent) work in a state with a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • Only three in ten (31.8 percent) work in a state with a law also prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.
  • 55 percent of of state government employees do not have equal access to health insurance for them and their partners

And this is just State employees.  Not the private sector and small business employees where LGBT workers number in the hundreds of millions.

As of this Labor Day in 34 states, it is still perfectly legal for lesbian and gay employees to be fired simply because their employers discover, and disapprove of, their sexual orientation while the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

For over 20 years  the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, EDNA, making discrimination against a worker based on their sexual orientation or gender identity a crime in all 50 states has sat stalled in Congress.

It is far past time to renew the push for basic LGBT employment protection in the United States and to take the focus off same-sex marriage.

LGBT employment discrimination is something that touches everyone in the LGBT community and keeps us second class citizens in the eyes of the United States and the world.

PASS ENDA NOW!

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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