A report released recently by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the American Federation of Sate, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) entitled “Gay and Transgender Discrimination in the Public Sector,” reveals that LGBT people continue to experience high rates of employment discrimination and are often not afforded equal benefits on the job. In addition, it details why workforce discrimination poses significant problems for state and local governments, public sector employees and taxpayers.
According to the report;
Only 43 percent of state employees work in a state with a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Only 31 percent work in a state with a law also prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity. This means that the majority of Americans working for state governments still do not have statutory protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. When it comes to benefits, a majority of state employees do not work for a state that offers equal partner health insurance. Only 47 percent of state employees with same-sex partners have access to equal workplace benefits, compared to 53 percent who do not.
AFSCMA claims that approximately one million LGBT employees work in the public sector for local, state or municipal government.
In a statement by Lee Saunders, president of AFSCME, “The discrimination that LGBT public sector workers still face is deplorable. While some states have passed laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, a majority of state workers can still be legally fired for being gay. No worker should be subjected to these high rates of harassment or be forced into unemployment, deprived of health insurance for themselves and for their families. This is a wrong that we need to right, right now.”
AFSCME describes itself as “the nation’s largest and fastest growing public services employees union with more than 1.6 million active and retired members.”
The Center for American Progress describers itself as “an independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action.”
The author is solely responsible for the content.