US Gay workers still lack protection

Today the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by a Georgia security guard who said she was harassed and forced from her job because she is a lesbian. The court therefore avoided an opportunity to decide whether a federal law that bans gender-based bias also outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Reuters notes:

The justices left in place a lower court ruling against Jameka Evans, who had argued that workplace sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Workplace protections are a major source of concern for advocates of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-lgbt/u-s-high-court-turns-away-dispute-over-gay-worker-protections-idUSKBN1E51OT

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Working abroad? Be careful

Pride In London

Getty Images | 17167

Relocating abroad for work is incredibly exciting but if you’re LGBTI it can also be fraught with additional difficulties. The BBC has been looking into the matter and identifying what precautions members of the community need to take when working in various countries.

The writers conclude that

… multinational companies have two choices. One is to turn a blind eye to the challenges faced by LGBTI employees and subsequently suffer the consequences of premature assignment returns and failed assignment costs. The other is taking an equally challenging path by acknowledging the challenges and concentrating on efforts to support LGBTI people through their international assignment experience.

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20171124-what-lgbti-expats-need-from-their-employers

US Gays still lack corporate benefits

American gays are still lagging behind in the provision of corporate benefits, reports Bloomberg.

After the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in 2015, some big companies stopped offering domestic-partner benefits, assuming that committed same-sex couples would just get married.

But that’s not the case, says the Human Rights Campaign, which is encouraging firms to offer domestic-partner benefits. Starting next year, companies will have to offer benefits for unmarried couples if they want a perfect score on the organization’s high-profile LGBT Corporate Equality Index.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-09/companies-face-pressure-to-maintain-benefits-for-lgbt-couples

US gay workers rights in court

Reuters reports that the US government will urge a U.S. appeals court in Manhattan to rule that federal law does not ban discrimination against gay employees.

The U.S. Department of Justice is supporting a New York skydiving company in a lawsuit brought by a former instructor who accused the company of firing him after he told a customer he was gay and she complained.

The case will require the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to decide whether discrimination against gay workers is a form of unlawful sex bias under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That law bans discrimination based on workers’ sex, race, religion and other traits.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lgbt-court/u-s-appeals-court-to-consider-rights-of-gay-workers-idUSKCN1C10EW

More to do, Forces

We all know how easy it is to gain “accreditation” for some kind of award by going through a questionnaire and ticking all the right boxes, and gaining an award for being a gay friendly employer because you have all the right words in your personnel policies.

What is really important is what things are actually like for gay and lesbian people where they work, and that often paints a completely different picture of so called award winning organisations.

The gap between the policy and reality is the measure of how much more there is still to do and achieve.

An SAS soldier claims underlying prejudice against gay personnel is hampering their promotion – despite a senior general saying he wants to spearhead sexual equality.

The decorated soldier says he was pushed aside for promotion to sergeant – despite his outstanding military pedigree on operations – because many senior officers refuse to accept gay soldiers in the elite regiment.

The experienced special forces Corporal was listed for a promotion board to sergeant after returning from operations last year, but while many of his colleagues were successful he failed and was told he needed to gain more time on operations.

But just three weeks after the promotion board sat the soldier, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was told by a close friend that senior officers had discovered that he was gay and that had affected his chances.

Come on, Forces.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/30/sas-soldier-says-faced-anti-gay-discrimination/

Canada to apologise to “purged” gays and lesbians

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The Canadian government building | Canadian Government Executive | 17119

The Canadian government is expected to become the next country to apologise to former gay staff in the federal civil service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Armed Forces who were interrogated and harassed from the 1950s to the 1990s because of their sexuality.

During the Cold War, hundreds of gay men and lesbians in Canada lost government and military jobs because of their sexual orientation during the “LGBT purge”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40268010

Captain Convicted

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South Korea’s Rainbow Flag | Yay Images | 17096

A military court in South Korea sentenced an army captain to six months in prison on Wednesday for having sex with other servicemen, igniting an outcry against what rights groups called a homophobic “witch hunt” in the country’s military.

The prison term for the captain was suspended for one year, so if he did not break the law again in the next year, he would not go to prison but he will be dishonorably discharged (unless his conviction is overturned by an appeals court).

The captain, whose name was not disclosed, collapsed when the verdict was announced in military court, and was taken to a hospital after hurting his head, said Lim Tae-hoon, the director of the Military Human Rights Centre.

The South Korean military criminal code outlaws sodomy and other unspecified “disgraceful conduct” between servicemen, whether or not there is mutual consent and whether or not that conduct takes place in or outside military compounds. Those found to have violated the act face up to two years in prison.

In South Korea powerful right-wing Christian groups have intensified a campaign against homosexuality, scuttling a bill that would have given sexual minorities the same protections as other minority groups.

The captain was arrested days before he was scheduled to leave the army. All of his sexual activities were consensual and took place in private spaces, like his home. None of the servicemen the captain had sex with served in his unit.