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Here's a contradictory polling result for you: 76 percent of people in a new poll said it should be illegal for an employer to fire someone for being gay or lesbian, but just 50 percent said they favored a law prohibiting job discrimination by employers against gays and lesbians. Why would you say that it should be illegal—not just that it was wrong to fire someone because of who they loved but that it should be against the law—yet not want a law prohibiting that?

One reason might be in the other question this Huffington Post/YouGov poll asked: "To the best of your knowledge, would you say it is currently legal or illegal under federal law to fire someone for being gay or lesbian?" Just 14 percent of people answered correctly that workplace discrimination against LGBT people is legal under federal law, while 62 percent believed that it's illegal. So some of these people may have answered the question about whether there should be a law against job discrimination thinking there already was. In fact, this isn't the first poll showing that Americans believe anti-gay workplace discrimination is already illegal: A 2011 poll found that nine out of 10 voters thought there was a federal law against discrimination.

The Senate has passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, but House Speaker John Boehner won't even let it come up for a vote despite widespread support (the 76 percent in this poll who say it should be illegal to fire someone over their sexual orientation is more in line with other polling than is the 50 percent who say they favor a law prohibiting discrimination). And, unfortunately in this case, people believing it is and should be the law doesn't make it so.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 08:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by BellowsforSenate and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I got into a discussion online (7+ / 0-)

    a while ago saying that gays could still be discriminated against in the workplace. It was something about someone being fired for being gay, I forget the exact details. Someone said "If he's so upset, why doesn't he just sue?" I pointed out ENDA hasn't passed yet. He more or less said "Uh huh! It passed Congress!"
    I wish I could live in a fantasy world where our current House didn't exist also.

  •  Sadly it is legal in 29 states, including here (7+ / 0-)

    in currently tea bag controlled Pennsylvania...we plan to change some of that this November.

    •  Key to getting more inclusive Non-Discrimination.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Law in PA is voting out Daryl Metcalfe or at least do all that you personally can to support his Dem opponent, Lisa Zucco. While I don't know much about her, I now she intends to focus on actual issues like improving transportation instead of whining and crying because LGBT people can getting married in PA now...

  •  Shenna Bellows (ME-SEN) calls for expanded (5+ / 0-)

    protections in a HuffPost piece yesterday.

    Bellows wrote


    The fight for full LGBT equality needs a big shot in the arm in Washington. I'm proud to live in Maine, where our statewide Human Rights Act is one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country, and I'm running for U.S. Senate this year because it's time for a federal counterpart that protects every American. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity has to end.

    Passing and then defending our state's strong civil-rights protections wasn't easy, and we learned important lessons in Maine that need to go national. In 2005, as executive director of the ACLU of Maine, I joined a concerted civil-rights campaign to convince the state legislature to expand the Maine Human Rights Act to penalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Our law was a landmark because it covered not just employment but housing, credit, public accommodations, and educational opportunity. There was absolutely no reason that LGBTQ Mainers should have faced legalized bigotry or intolerance in those areas of their lives -- or any other.

  •  Question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not that it matters until we have the House, but is there a T in ENDA, or is it just LGB discrimination?

  •  It's been true for a while. (3+ / 0-)

    Lots of Americans think sexual orientation/gender identity discrimination should be unlawful in the workplace.  

    One of the big problems in actually making it illegal is that lots of Americans think it's illegal already.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 04:32:53 PM PDT

  •  Gays Are US Citizens & Should Get Equal Protection (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    under the law like all citizens.

    You don't have to like gays to realize that their rights are the same as yours and mine and that they are as American as you and I are.

    Like it or not!

  •  And it was a punch Line when Boehner (0+ / 0-)

    claimed it

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 04:48:13 PM PDT

  •  We did a training for refugee resettlement orgs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and did a little survey before the training.  >90% of the social workers and resettlement workers thought workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal, not just under local ordinances, but under federal law.

    They were kind of surprised to find out otherwise, and a little upset.  This included workers from faith-based organizations like Catholic Charities and Church World Service.  

    We had to teach them that disclosure in the workplace can be very tricky indeed.

    As an aside, most of the line staff and social workers in faith based organizations that work with immigrants are very much on our side.  It's when you get up to the bishops and archbishops and preachers and fools that you have a problem.  The fact that nearly every social services person I've met, rural or urban, automatically and instinctively opposes LGBT discrimination and thinks it is already illegal is one more datapoint that makes me think that this war is coming to a close.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 04:59:25 PM PDT

  •  Too many powerful people like to gay bash. (0+ / 0-)

    Too many powerful people like to gay bash.
    Just the other day I heard: “That f-ckin fag, I’ll tear his ba__ off ___his boy friend”
    That was from a bleeding-heart liberal in the music industry!  Yes, he was at work (in his office) when he made that remark.
    I don’t think you need to go to the locker-room to imagine what they say (and think) behind closed doors.
    I don’t believe in poll in general-- on this one I just see and hear too much to believe things have changed that much.

  •  I think its probably because some many companie... (0+ / 0-)

    I think its probably because some many companies have LGBT anti-discrimination policies. Every place I've worked has had it.

    If I didn't follow politics I'd think it was already illegal as well

  •  back in the late 80's (0+ / 0-)

    Just an anecdote:

    I worked for a company in northern Indiana.  Not exactly a hot bed of tolerance.

    What I found astonishing about this factory was there were two openly gay men who had been working there for over 30 years each. one worked in the quality department
    and the other was a product specialist in the marketing department.

    One day the company hired a new manager.  a former marine from someplace.  He zeroed in on the marketing
    guy.  it was shocking, since no one had ever had a problem.  our gay guy was well liked by all of the men in the office and the women were all his best buds. We had been in the pits together, done battle together.  We had survived a hostile takeover, lousy executives, and bad business decisions.

    what happened next warmed my heart.  The office personnel circled the wagons.  up until that moment no one had ever had to "choose" whether they thought being gay was good or bad, he was our gay guy, and this blatant attempt to oust our long time friend brought out the best
    in all of us.

    didn't take long, but the marine moved on and the marketing guy retired in 2010 after 50 years.  and the other guy out in the factory is almost 80 now AND IS STILL WORKING THERE!

  •  Houston anti discrimination law (0+ / 0-)

    The opposition to this law was interesting. While some churches, such as Second Baptist(who, by the way, has spent years protecting a pedophile and denying they have a sexual predator problem) are comfortable explicitly saying the homosexuals are inferior and any law that will make them equal is bad, other are less direct.

    For instance, my conservative friends informed me that the main concern being pushed by the right wing echo chamber is the issue of toilets.  Specifically, the law had in language that allowed some choice in which toilet on used. Right wing bigots attacked this provision in hopes of using it as a proxy for defeat.  However all that happened was the language was altered the proposal passed.

    Which is to say outside of some hate filled bigoted "churches" and right wing media in which money is exchanged for false self esteem, no one really seems to believe in the right to be a hateful bigot.

    She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing. -Kurt Vonnegut Life is serious but we don't have to be - me

    by lowt on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:40:40 PM PDT

  •  What most of those people (0+ / 0-)

    think is that the anti-discrimination laws already on the books cover LGBT discrimination too. Sadly they do not.

    "Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news. Which follows its own special rules." ~ Douglas Adams

    by coyote66 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:52:37 AM PDT

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