By Gary M. Clark
By Gary M. Clark
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is pending federal legislation that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in all aspects of employment.
Including hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, and most terms and conditions of employment.
The bill would also protect workers from retaliation.
However, I don’t believe that sexual preference should be something that is advertised in the work place.
Employees should not be subject to the question of whether they are gay or straight.
And at the same time employees should not be making announcements shedding light on sexual preference.
Sexual preference is not a topic of conversation appropriate in a professional work environment.
In no way does sexual preference have an affect on job performance.
I like the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, it keeps things consistent across the board.
In my opinion, to ask, make reference to, or wonder about co-workers sexuality is a form of sexual harassment.
Why should it matter? I am a heterosexual. I don’t have to go around telling people “I am heterosexual.” What difference does it make? None.
If I were gay I would operate the same way especially at work where that particular topic of coversation is immensely inappropriate. It should never come up.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is put in the same category as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
I believe that is a mistake; race, gender and ethnicity are something that you notice about a person just by looking at them.
I believe “gay pride” sometimes gets in the way of gays and lesbians actually getting the fair treatment that all people deserve regardless of sexual orientation.
Sexuality for the most part is “in the closet” unless a particular person feels the need to express it openly.
Like I stated earlier, it should not be discussed at work because it is unnecessary.
It’s not about not staying in or out of “the closet” it’s about being professional.
I do believe that gay and lesbians get discriminated against because of their sexuality. However, the work place is not the appropriate setting to discuss these private details.
The truth of the matter is we won’t be able to change discrimination in the work place because there are always ignorant people in this world who will go through great lengths to suppress an individual because of minor differences (race, gender, ethnicity, etc.)
Therefore, the need for the law exists.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn’t change how people felt about race and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act won’t change how people feel about sexuality.
However it will slap some hands and maybe we will see a few homophobic people get publicly blasted for their ignorance.
Being at work should involve being productive to make money so that we can support our families, but apparently it doesn’t.
It means gossip, backstabbing, discriminating, player hating, lying, stealing, cheating and everything else we have come to expect from this predictably unpredictable world.
If everyone would focus on the main reason for being at work, maybe we could all get more work done.