Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Homophobic-toxic workplace without consequences in Missouri

Discrimination based upon sexual orientation is perfectly legal in Missouri.

James Pittman worked for Cook Paper Recycling Corp. for more than seven years. Pittman claims that his employment was terminated because he is gay. Pittman also alleges, among other things, that Cook Paper president Joe Jurden made discriminatory sexual comments to Pittman. He was called a “cocksucker” and asked if he had AIDS.

Last Tuesday a divided three-judge panel ruled that Mr. Pittman cannot hold his former employer liable. Sexual orientation is not a protected class in Missouri.

The Equality Act seeks to prevent incidents like this. It prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity by amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is long overdue. Sadly, chances are that this will never even come up for a vote in the 114th Congress.

Over the next year we can do our part by advocating for candidates who support non-discrimination protections for LGBT citizens and taxpayers. Unfortunately our opponents subscribe to the belief that the purpose of non-discrimination laws is to punish Christians. There is nothing Christian about calling someone a “cocksucker” in the workplace.

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