LGBT Rights in the Georgia Workplace

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    GA Senator Donzella James
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Not allowing a student or professor to be excused from class so that they may observe a religious event or holiday is discrimination.

Not acknowledging or providing assistance to a person with physical and/or mental disabilities is discrimination.

Not listening to or giving credit to someone because of their gender is discrimination.

Instances of discrimination are endless, and in their existence they are destructive to the tenets of equality and democracy that our nation has been built upon and damaging to the sense of self belonging to those that are discriminated against. Thus, even in its simplest form, discrimination is unethical; degrading a human being because he or she is misunderstood or unrecognized is an issue of ignorance. And from this ignorance stems the concept of superiority due to race, age, nationality, physical traits, disability, gender, and sexual orientation.

In the workplace, discrimination takes a heavy toll on individuals who, despite their experience, knowledge, know-how, and skills, are denied equal treatment or even a job itself. The fight has been fought for equal opportunities for people of any age and any physical standing (whether a person with disabilities or not), for women, and for people of any race and nationality.

But for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (LGBT) protection against discrimination still needs to be addressed in many states within the US. In order to receive this protection however, the citizens of the US need to be informed that blatant discrimination remains and persists against LGBT individuals.

In Georgia a person can be fired from their job for the sole reason that they are homosexual, bisexual, or transgender. There is no state law in Georgia that explicitly prohibits discrimination against either gender or sexual orientation. This creates an enormous problem for LGBT because the right to be hired and promoted in the workplace is crucial in creating a secure life for an individual and for said individual's family.

There are nineteen states that have passed workplace discrimination laws, which means there are thirty one more states that do not have these laws, including Georgia. There are some big corporations, including Fortune 500 companies, that have taken steps on their own to enforce policies that protect LGBT individuals, BUT the government needs to be involved in this process in order to ensure everyone everywhere is not discriminated against based on their gender or sexual orientation.

This petition is for LGBT rights in the workplace in the state of Georgia. The H.R. 3017: Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 is still in the legislative process. It has a LONG way to go. We need to ensure that this bill does not get lost in the legislative process. If it does, then we need to ensure that the rights of LGBT individuals are recognized as crucial to the democracy of this country. Through this petition, we want to show you how important LGBT rights in the workplace are to us.

We are taking a step toward raising awareness about how equal rights for all are still being fought for.