Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More Discrimination

(Los Angeles, California) A new study shows that despite a patchwork of state non-discrimination laws covering gays in various parts of the country employment harassment remains at nearly the same level it did a decade ago.

The study, by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, shows found that 15 to 43 percent of lesbian, gay, or bisexual people surveyed since the mid-1990s reported experiencing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The numbers are remarkably similar to conclusions from a survey of studies conducted in 1992, which found that 16% to 68% of LGB respondents reported experiencing employment discrimination at some point in their lives.

Transgender individuals reported similar levels of discrimination, with 20 to 57 percent of trans respondents experiencing employment discrimination based on their gender identity.

The existence of sexual orientation employment discrimination is not benign, the authors of the study said in their report.

The survey also found that gay men consistently earn 10% to 32% less than their similarly qualified heterosexual counterparts.

Although findings on the impact on lesbians' wages are less clear-with wage differentials between lesbian and heterosexual women varying across studies-the studies do show that lesbians consistently earn less than men, regardless of sexual orientation.

We can't marry, aren't protected from hate crimes, can be fired, paid less, denied promotion, and taunted on the job for being gay, and in many places can't adopt. This is a civil rights issue plain and simple.

LGBT people who vote for candidates against equality are like middle-class people who vote Republican, secretly hoping that, someday, the rich guys will invite them to the party. It ain't gonna happen.

I know. The voting options on the other side are often poor. It's dismaying. Any Congressperson simultaneously claiming forward-thinking values while standing against marriage equality, ENDA, and hate crimes legislation should be called on their hypocrisy at every opportunity.