In 29 states in this country it is legal to fire or refuse to hire people simply because they are homosexual. It doesn’t matter how qualified they are or how well they perform the task; people can be fired, simply for being gay. If this were something that had an affect on the workplace, it would be one thing, but it doesn’t. Homosexuality doesn’t affect anyone except those who partake in it.
Homosexuals are not affected by their spouses any more than the rest of us. They’re not going to bring their spouses to work any more than the rest of us, and it’s really nobody’s business who’s sleeping with who on their own time anyway. Being a homosexual does not affect one’s ability to work, and it should not be cause for firing or refusing to hire someone.
Currently, the federal law protects people from being discriminated against by race, religion, gender, national origin or disability, but not sexual orientation or gender identity. The choice for that protection still lies with individual states. This country was founded with the idea of equal opportunity for all, but time and time again, we have found that the “equal opportunity for all” has its limitations. Whether it was preventing the Amish from having their own schools, making African Americans drink from separate water fountains, or telling the Native Americans they couldn’t practice their rituals in public (the same Native Americans who were robbed of their land so this country could be formed).
Now the discrimination is against homosexuals in the workplace and it is just as ridiculous. While there is still debate in the scientific community as to whether homosexuality is the result of nature or nurture, one thing they do agree upon is that it is not a choice. Whether it is nature or nurture, it is truly who they are. It is not just some fad that they decided to join in with, it is not something that they can be “cured” of, it is not something that goes away. It is who they are, and it is not cause to discriminate against them.
It is sad that in a country founded on equal rights, bills have to be passed to ensure the protection that people should already have, but such seems often to be the case. There is currently in the works a bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017) that would protect people from such discrimination. Contrary to what some would lead people to believe, this act is NOT about special treatment. It does NOT guarantee homosexuals any rights that are not granted to heterosexuals. It is NOT one of the hiring quotas that currently determine how many women and minorities must be hired. Workplaces will NOT be forced to hire a certain number of homosexuals. The bill also does not prevent homosexuals from being fired due to poor job performance. It simply means that an employer cannot fire them solely for being homosexual. However, this bill will not apply to small businesses, or religious organizations who can continue to select their employees based upon whatever criteria they choose.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with the homosexuals’ lifestyle is irrelevant, they should at least be treated with the civil rights granted to rest of us, for they are citizens of this country as much as the rest us. They have to pay taxes just like the rest of us, and they should be allowed to work just like the rest of us, without worrying about being fired for who they are.