Step by step, LGBT members are slowly gaining full equality, but unfortunately, we still have obstacles standing in our way. One of those obstacles is U.S. House Speaker John Boehner(R-OH) who obviously thinks it is his job to impose his way of thinking upon that legislative branch, not the majority of House members.
The U.S. Senate just passed a landmark piece of legislation known as ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act). I like to call it the "Enda all discrimination act" because that is exactly what it does for gay people in the workplace. The bill would make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT members for employment, with some exemptions for religious organizations, which was necessary to bring a few Senate Republicans on board to get past the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster.
It may surprise some Americans that there are still states where a gay person can be either denied employment or even fired because of their sexual orientation. I live in one of those states myself - Oklahoma - but fortunately for me, I work for an employer who does not discriminate against gay people. Still, I have been fired before because the place I worked at discovered I was gay. Of course, they did not tell me that was the reason I was being fired but since it was only a couple of weeks after I told someone in management about my sexual orientation - of which I was asked about - that I got my walking papers.
Speaker Boehner has stated that he will not allow the House to take up the bill. His reasons were of course typical; saying it will cost jobs? What a crock!
Michael Steel, Boehner's spokesperson gave the press a statement saying, "The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs."
Does John Boehner believe that a lawsuit filed against discriminating over someone for his or her sexual orientation, frivolous? That is exactly what I take from what his statement says. I would like to know just how House Speaker Boehner feels about gay people, their right to employment, and their right to anything in this country. Perhaps Boehner feels that not all American citizens should be treated equally under the law and that it is okay to discriminate against someone who is gay.
I have news for the House Speaker and every Republican who is still trying to stand in the way of LGBT members from being protected under the law as a minority: they will eventually fail. Gay people will finally be free to be whom they are without fear of being fired or denied housing or denied anything that any American should be able to take for granted in this great nation of ours.
Then there is Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, who had to add his two cents in an op-ed to USA Today saying,
"The Senate is about to add a new, special right based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This is bad public policy and should be rejected."
So he thinks protecting gay people from discrimination in the workplace is a "special right", as though we gay people want more than what is afforded all Americans. All we really want is equal protection under the law, but to him, it is asking for a "special right". When a gay person ask to be promoted because they are gay, that's a special right, not by asking that we be given equal protection, Mr. Reed.
Mr. Reed goes on to say, "It is also a dagger aimed at the heart of religious freedom for millions of Americans." Let me see, so what he is saying is, by protecting my right as a gay person from being fired from my job, and at a non-religious job at that, it is a dagger aimed at the heart of religious freedom of other Americans, millions of them no less. Protecting my freedom would be stabbing the freedom of other Americans. What he is saying really is; religious people should have the right to discriminate against me for being gay because that is their religious right. Sounds to me as though he is saying religious Americans should have a special right to discriminate against gay Americans.
Both Mr. Reed and House Speaker Boehner is using some of the same reasoning that has been used for the last 20 or 30 years when it comes to denying the rights of gay people to be treated equally under the law. Though it is employment, the right to marry, the right to housing or the right to serve openly in the military, gay people deserve the same protections everyone else has.
Presently, 53 percent of Americans think gay people should have a right to marry whom they love and that number will continue to grow as older generations die out and more enlightened generations take their place. This means that dinosaurs like Boehner and Reed will finally die out too and America can finally become the true bastion of freedom that it long has claimed to be.
This is a republish from my website: Fidlerten Place