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Running Head: LGBT DISCRIMINATION

LGBT Discrimination Literature Review


Jesus Nuez
University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)

LGBT DISCRIMINATION

Abstract
Discrimination is a serious and rather vulgar problem that plagues the world. This forces those
who are easily discriminated against, including the LGBT community, to a harder life and
preventing themselves from being whom they want to be. In this essay, we will see some of the
many forms of discrimination primarily based around the sexual orientation or preference of
those who face these problems. With this, this essay will help create a better understanding of
what these discriminations can actually consist of given some real examples that have occured
over the media in many states and providences.

LGBT DISCRIMINATION

Discrimination has occurred throughout history for all of our existence. Discrimination is
often referred to black people or gender inequality. Following the media, most of the
discrimination that is talked about is about gender inequalities, racial segregations, and even
economic discrimination. There are only few stories that involve the LGBT community and their
discriminatory problems over the news. The current day thought behind gays and lesbians is that
its dirty and/or unnatural to have two beings of the same gender in love or showing intimate
signs of affection towards one another. The reasoning behind this is from the bible. The bible
states, You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (Slick). Due
to the evolving mind, the reasons to discriminate against the LGBT have changed and now
people view this group as dirty. Discrimination happens greatly to the LGBT as it does to other
races, religions, or genders.
The problems that the LGBT face are not any more different than other groups may face.
However some cases may be more severe than others. Some people think being gay is a choice
and therefore can be cleansed or removed. As Caiden Cowger explains it, they [these people]
just decided all of a sudden I think Im going to be gay. Why they are becoming homosexuals
is because they are being encouraged to do so. (The Young Turks, 2012). As a 14 year old
relatively new talk show host, the mentality that is stimulated in this young mans mind is
already against homosexuals and those affiliated with it. This could be due to the fact that
someone he looks up to has similar opinions or he has heard that being homosexual is bad. He
personally feels like it is bad to be homosexual. Even in other cases, it makes others with same
views uncomfortable and can lead to more severe actions. There are two men eating here, and
theyre kissing. They are homosexuals. I approached them and told them that they couldnt be

LGBT DISCRIMINATION

kissing here because there are children here The restaurant and the security company had
claimed the group was asked to leave because its members were being aggressive and
confrontational and bothered other customers, though that was not mentioned in the guards 911
call. (Borunda, 2012). As explained, the guard approached the two and created a problem due to
their sexual orientation. While the reason to approach was not to protect the children and more
on the basis of this guard feeling threatened and uncomfortable, this is one of the few cases that
led to a higher consequence and discriminated against the community.
Forms of discrimination dont have to be physical or verbal, they can occur in the
workplace as well and can be easily missed. A lot of people in our country arent aware of the
high rates of discrimination that LGBT people face. (Krehley, 2011). This can occur everywhere
and unfortunately is shown through statistics in the workplace.

-- 4%. The percentage of the U.S. workforce that identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or
transgender.
-- 21%. That's the percentage of LGBT employees who report having been discriminated against
in hiring, promotions and pay.
-- 47%. That's the percentage of transgender employees who reported similar discrimination at
work.
-- $0.68-$0.90. That's how much gay and bisexual men make for every dollar earned by
similarly-qualified heterosexual men.
-- One out of every 25 complaints made about workplace discrimination comes from LGBT
employees.

LGBT DISCRIMINATION

-- 96%. That's the percentage of Fortune 500 companies that have LGBT workplace protections
who say such policies have boosted their businesses. Fortune 500 executives, including Apple
CEO Tim Cook, have said such workplace policies boost productivity, increase retention rates
and and attract talent.
(Lopez, 2013
From these statistics, it is evident that workplace discrimination, verbal or not, does occur as
well. Much like the gender inequality between male and female, homosexuals make less money
than those who arent homosexual. This is an example of non-verbal discrimination that can
occur in the workplace. It is a much harder to fight and less known issue regarding the
discrimination of gays. Of the millions of people in the united states, 4% are gay, lesbian,
bisexual, or transgender, which means, all of them have, will, or have a higher chance of facing
discrimination of any magnitude at least once in their lives. This makes the severity of
discrimination against the LGBT community much more severe. There are often times where
those in the LGBT community cannot gain work or enough money to sustain themselves due to
the discrimatory nature of the employer. Including of which, workers may not agree with gay or
lesbian co-workers as they can feel afraid, distracted, or threatened by it. In a study done by the
National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, they
had given many statistics on the discriminatory nature that occurs before, during, and possibly
after being in the workplace.
15 percent to 43 percent of gay and transgender workers have experienced some
form of discrimination on the job.
8 percent to 17 percent of gay and transgender workers report being passed over
for a job or fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBT DISCRIMINATION

10 percent to 28 percent recieved a negative performance evaluation or were


passed over for a promotion because they were gay or transgender.
7 percent to 41 percent of gay and transgender workers were verbally or
physically abused or had their workplace vandalized.
90 percent of transgender individuals have encountered some form of harassment
or mistreament on the job.
47 percent of workers have experienced an adverse job outcome because they
were transgender. This includes:
44 percent who were passed over for a job
23 percent who were denied a promotion
and 26 percent who were fired because they were transgender.
(Burns and Krehley, 2011)
A very apparant reprocussion of workplace discrimination that occurs is one of economic
consequence upon demonstrating any form of discrimination. 4% of people in America are gay,
lesbian, bisexual, or transgender which means that all, if not most, companies will have at least
one worker who is affiliated with the LGBT community. Most companies have been adopting a
policy that bans any and all forms of discrimination. It doesnt just include gay rights but also
agaisnt forms of racial discrimination, gender discrimination, or ethnic discrimination.
Discrimination directly causes job instability which does cause higher unemployment rates. Also
previously stated, it causes a wage gap between gay and streight workers. Companies do need to
take these anti-discriminatory procedures if they are to boost profit and employee productivity. It
is proven that discrimination reduces productivity, job satisfaction as a whole, and the health of
all of its employees. Due to changing times, the public has been increasing in support for the
employment protections against all forms of discrimination. Many states and businesses have
adopted nondiscrimination protections that prohibit any discrimination that may occur in the
workplace. However, it is still currently legal in many states to fire someone for being gay or

LGBT DISCRIMINATION

transgender. These are often followed by the filing of discrimination complaints which often
typically win and thus do deture companies from firing gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or transgenders
based on the discrimatory nature of the employer. Gay and transgender people are a significant
part of the American work force and, in some cases, work harder than their streight co-workers
for less money. This includes a higher demand for the gay worker to work harder as they are in
fear of losing their job based on their sexual preference or orientation. Many times they are not
fired over their job performance or ability but just for the simple fact that they are gay and this
treatens the employer in some form.
Unfortunately, jobs are not the stopping point for the discrimination against the LGBT
community. Many states and providences push for anti-gay bills. States like Arizona, Georgia,
Mississippi, and more, have been trying to create anti-gay bills on the basis of religious freedom.
As the bible states, You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
(Slick). This creates a thought that religious freedom allows people to discriminate against the
LGBT community since it goes against their religious beliefs. Many of the following states,
documented by Adam Serwer, 2011, have been trying to push for anti-gay bills on the premise of
religious freedom. Kansas was the first to try to ban gays and lesbians by passing a bill that
would allow businesses to refuse to serve customers or hire employees based on their sexual
orientation due to religious protections and freedoms. This was the first act that drew major
attention to the state of religious freedoms and the bills that are trying to follow it. Arizona has
been trying to push a bill that will protect the religious from being discriminated against because
of their beliefs. In turn, this allows businesses to exempt themselves from discriminating against
any religious reason including against gays and lesbians. Idaho has tried to push a bill that would
prevent the denial or revocation of a professional or occupational license for someone who

LGBT DISCRIMINATION

refuses services to, or makes employment decisions based on their religious beliefs. This could
mean that any worker or employer can deny service or jobs to anyone based on their own beliefs,
including gays and lesbians, and they wouldnt have their license revoked for doing these forms
of discriminatory actions. Georgia tried passing a bill that in the event of a lawsuit in the form of
discriminatory action, that person can use their religious views as a defense to prevent the loss of
said lawsuit. Maine put forth a bill very similar to Arizona that would allow anyone to
discriminate against anyone else given the fact that it violates or threatens their religious beliefs.
Mississippis attempt included the exclusion of any person from any form of martial, state, or
local law that could burden their exercise of their religion. Missouri tried allowing its
jurisdictions to create their own form of discrimination, giving them the option to choose
whether they can have or ban gay marriage or employment of gays. Nevada introduced a bill that
would prohibit the governments involvement in cases of discrimination or illegal activity if it
meant it was part of their religious exercise. While it may protect their religious exercise, there
are great chances it could allow individuals to ignore the law, discriminate against others, and
become invincible based on their religious belief. Ohio tried to pass a bill that would create an
exemption for religious employers to discriminate against anyone based on their race, color,
religion, sex, sexual preference, disability, age, or ancestry. This would mean that most of those
who can be discriminated against can be, and most likely will be when it comes to trying to
obtain a job. Oklahoma stated that their bill would protect those who feel uncomfortable or
threatened regarding services towards those whoviolate their religious belief or conscience.
Oregon attempted to get a ballot approved that would allow its residents to vote to exempt
businesses whose owners have religious objections to participating in same sex marriage or
celebrations. This would allow the employers and the employees the ability to discriminate

LGBT DISCRIMINATION

against gay and lesbian couples without negative reprocussion. South Dakotas proposal was to
bar lawsuits against businesses for refusing services based on sexual orientation and those who
express their religious beliefs on the same subject. The second part of this bill wouldnt have
been able to pass due to the protection of the First Amendment. Tennessee has wanted a near
exact bill to that in Kansas. Utah has been in the process of creating bills that would ban
discrimination towards sexual orientation yet creating religious freedoms that would exempt
those from reprocussions given that they participate in discriminatory actions. (Serwer, 2011).
In the end, much of the LGBT community faces many hardships on many levels when it
comes to any and all forms of discrimination against this community. Whether its falsified
theory, business oriented discrimination, or unconditional and unexplainable religious state
legislature, there are many forms that can attack the LGBT community. Fortunately, many of
these discriminatory actions are failing as time progresses and as the public gets stronger in
helping the community. In time, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or transgenders will be equal to their
fellow straight people and eventually such mindsets will be reduced including the discrimination
of other races and religions. Discrimination happens greatly to the LGBT as it does to other
races, religions, or genders.

LGBT DISCRIMINATION

10

References:
1. Obama Is 'Making Kids Gay' Says 14-Year-Old Conservative Talk Show Host
[Video File]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxeFVWqX4NM
2. Michelson, N. (2014). Heres a Better Idea for the Gay Man Who Wants to Raise
$150,000 for Anti-Gay Bakers. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/noahmichelson/heres-a-better-idea-for-the-gay-man-who-wants-to-raise-150000-for-anti-gaybakers_b_6015622.html
3. Borunda, D. (2012). Plaintiffs in Gay Kiss Case Announce Settlement. Retrieved
from: http://www.texascivilrightsproject.org/4793/plaintiffs-in-gay-kiss-case-announcesettlement/
4. Weber, P. (2014). Texas Gay Marriage Fight Pits Greg Abbott Against His Gay
Friend. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/28/texas-gaymarriage_n_4876836.html
5. LGBT Discrimination: Protecting Employee Rights [Video File]. Retrieved from:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnLEQbUrlZc
6. Serwer, A. (2014). States Fight to Push Anti-gay Bills. But Will They Pass?
Retrieved from: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/states-push-anti-gay-bills-will-they-pass
7. Burns, C. and Krehley, J. (2011) Gay and Transgender People Face High Rates of
Workplace Discrimination and Harassment. Retrieved from:
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2011/06/02/9872/gay-andtransgender-people-face-high-rates-of-workplace-discrimination-and-harassment/
8. Slick, M. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Carm.org
https://carm.org/bible-homosexuality

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9. Lopez, R. A Rundown of LGBT Workplace Statistics. Retrieved from:


http://articles.latimes.com/2013/nov/21/business/la-fi-mo-a-rundown-of-lgbt-workplacediscrimination-20131121