Imagine getting that famous pink slip for something that doesn’t even affect your work ethic. Imagine the feeling of being rejected as a working citizen for something you can’t control. Eric Welker is the leader of the Gender Sexuality Alliance Club (GSA) and when asked if he has feared to apply for jobs he responded with an unshakeable “yes.”
The Supreme Court on Oct. 8 will be debating if employers could fire LGBTQ workers. In 1964 the Civil Rights Title Vll act was created to ban discrimination “based on sex.” The court will hear arguments based on the idea that it doesn’t ban discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
“Trans rely on jobs,” Welker stated.
Trans workers are in the most jeopardy. While lower courts say it’s illegal to target someone based upon sexual orientation and sex stereotyping, the Justice Department said companies have the right to fire trans because the sex discrimination only bans unequal treatment between the “biological sexes.”
When asked what it means to be an ally, Arthi Kondapeneni says it’s the fact you accept everyone.
“Why not love everyone?” That’s what companies like Starbucks are doing. Starbucks’ employee benefits include bottom surgery as well as hair transplants and other surgeries that were deemed cosmetic before.
If worst comes to worst, however, LGBTQ workers, especially transgender workers would have to rely on a patchwork of the state protections and Equality Act, a non-discrimination bill passed in May by the U.S. House, which is held by mostly Democrat members. The bill has not passed in the Senate which is made up of mostly Republicans.
If you could say anything to Congress, what would you say? What would you do?
“Remember what the country was built from; that everyone is created equal.” Kondapeneni said.