Shocking! Workers in US can still be fired just for being gay


workers_in_usa_can_still_be_fired_for_being_gayA court ruling has highlighted the shocking reality that many American workers can still be legally fired from their jobs just because of their sexual orientation.

James Pittman sued Cook Paper Recycling after he was harassed for seven years and was then eventually fired for being gay.

Pittman claims that his boss, Joe Jurden, the President of Cook Paper, called him a “cocksucker” and “made other comments of a sexual nature, discriminatory to a male homosexual, including asking him if he had AIDS.”

Under Missouri law, employees are protected from workplace discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age or disability – but not sexual orientation.

On Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that while Pittman may indeed have been discriminated against, he is not legally entitled to sue the company for it.

“No matter how compelling Pittman’s argument may be and no matter how sympathetic this court or the trial court may be to Pittman’s situation, we are bound by the state of the law as it currently exists,” said Chief Judge James Welsh.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Missouri said the ruling was a clear sign that laws need to change.

“Contrary to what many believe, lesbian, gay, and bisexual Missourians can still be fired, kicked out of their homes, or denied service at a restaurant because of who they are and who they love,” commented Sarah Rossi, ACLU of Missouri Director of Advocacy and Policy.

“The ACLU has been calling on the legislature to change this for years, to have the basic decency to catch up to what 27 other states have already done – include LGBT people in the Missouri Human Rights Act,” she said.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, there is no federal law that consistently protects LGBT individuals from employment discrimination in the US. Twenty-nine states do not have local laws outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation and 32 states do not have discrimination laws based on gender identity.

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