Job bias claims match sex, race
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A new study by the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law reveals that laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace are used as frequently by LGBT workers as laws prohibiting sex and race discrimination are used by women and people of color.l Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; 13 of those states also prohibit gender identity discrimination.
Analyzing employment discrimination complaints filed with state agencies in states prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination, the study finds five out of 10,000 LGBT people in the workforce file sexual orientation employment discrimination complaints each year, compared to sex discrimination complaints filed by five out of 10,000 women in the workforce and race discrimination complaints filed by seven out of 10,000 people of color in the workforce.
“Our analysis directly questions the popular argument that sexual orientation anti-discrimination laws are unnecessary,” noted study co-author M.V. Lee Badgett, research director at the Williams Institute. “They are needed and utilized by the LGBT workforce.”
Christopher Ramos, another researcher who worked on the study, pointed out that in eight states sexual orientation claims surpass sex claims; the same is true for three states when compared to race claims. “Clearly, LGBT employees are not only facing a certain level of discrimination, but also, taking advantage of protective state policies.”
Gay marriage underway
HARTFORD, Conn. — The State of Connecticut began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples Nov. 12 in compliance with last month’s state Supreme Court decision that found barring gays and lesbians from marrying unconstitutional. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese observed, “It’s a joyous day in Connecticut as hundreds of loving, committed couples prepare to receive the ultimate recognition of their relationships by receiving civil marriage licenses.”
At press time, only Connecticut and Massachusetts recognize marriage equality for same-sex couples following the passage of Prop 8 in California. Opponents of the ballot measure have asked the California Supreme Court to rule on its constitutional standing.
Trans woman shot dead at party
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Lateisha Green, a 22-year-old transgender woman, was killed Nov. 14 in an apparent hate crime. Green was sitting in a car with her brother outside of a party when she was shot and killed by another guest, Dwight DeLee, because of her gender identity. DeLee, who has been charged with second degree murder, was being held without bail at press time. The district attorney had not yet decided whether to charge DeLee with a hate crime.
The slaying came less than a week before the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of those murdered because of anti-transgender prejudice. The observance was sparked by the 1998 murder of Rita Hester. a trans activist in her native Boston who was stabbed 20 times in an unsolved attack at her apartment.
Senior officers support ban repeal
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A statement calling for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” signed by 104 retired generals and admirals was released Nov. 17. The move was meant to send a message to the incoming Obama administration that the time has come to abandon the policy that bars open gay, lesbian and bisexual service members from serving in the military.
“As is the case with Great Britain, Israel, and other nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality,” the statement explained.
Arrest in possible hate killings
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — On October 20, two elderly gay men were murdered here in their home. On Nov. 15, police arrested Michael Brown, 56, in connection with the killings of Milton Lindgren, 70, and Eric Hendricks, 73. Brown was one of two individuals who initially contacted police to report that he hadn’t heard from the pair and was concerned. After speaking with Brown onsite when the bodies were discovered, Indiana police were later unable to find him and he was eventually arrested in California.
Although the murders had not been officially classified as anti-gay hate crimes at press time, many of the couple’s friends believe they were targeted for being gay. Lindgren and Hendricks had encountered anti-gay harassment and vandalism in their home during the past few months. Signs with anti-gay slurs were posted on their front door. Police reports verify that someone had cut the couple’s phone and cable lines twice in the past few months.
Diocese breaks ranks over gays
FORT WORTH, Texas — On Nov. 16, the Fort Worth Diocese severed ties with the Episcopal Church, becoming the fourth diocese to withdraw from the denomination since last year. Although members of the diocese voted by a margin of four-to-one to separate, approximately 4,000 of the 19,000 members in the diocese are expected to remain with the Episcopal Church. As with the other dioceses, legal actions over property will be pursued. The Fort Worth diocese has been at odds with the denomination since 1976, when women were first ordained to the priesthood. The ordination of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson and support for same-sex marriage led the diocese to break away.