This week’s lesson had me ruminating on a topic that I often bring up to friends and family when we talk about actions we would like to see in government. Especially as a political science major, I have done a lot of research on The Equality Act of 2010, which is one of the major pieces of legislation supported by Human Rights Campaign that seeks to protect citizens in the United States from discrimination.
In the lesson 3 Commentary, we learned about specific legal protections that defend citizens against discrimination, specifically the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Pennsylvania State University, Lesson 3) The Equality Act was introduced to both the House of Representatives and the Senate. According to the Human Rights Campaign (2017) “The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.” The legislation would also amend the 1964 law and make it so that one can not be discriminated on based on their gender. In many of these realms one can still legally be fired, or unapproved for housing and credit, or denied an education based on their gender or sexual preference. This type of discrimination should not exist in the United States today.
In learning about discrimination and inclusion this week, I wonder why more politicians are not making it a top priority to pass this legislation. There is good movement in social change via the women’s movement at the moment. The courts have also been kind to the LGBTQ community in recent years, with ruling on marriage equality. However, when it comes to workplace discrimination and the encouragement of inclusion, the law is behind the social conversation. If we hope to break the “glass ceiling” (Moran 2014) as discussed in this weeks reading on women’s rights and work towards greater inclusion, providing proper legal protections is a good place to start!
Human Rights Campaign. 2017. The Equality Act. Retrieved from: https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-equality-act
Moran, R., Abramson, N. & Moran, S. (2014). Managing Cultural Differences. Oxford: Routledge.