Comments about ‘Topic of the day: Adding sexual orientation and gender identity protection clauses to the Non-Discrimination Act’

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Published: Friday, Nov. 8 2013 10:48 a.m. MST

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Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm ok with the idea of not discriminating people, but liberals need to learn a difference between discrimination and acknowledging facts.

If I see a man who thinks he is a woman and wishes he were a woman, that doesn't make him a woman. If a man is born a man and deemed to be a man by competent medical professionals, he is a man.

It is ridiculous to suggest any man who simply says "I am a woman" should be allowed in any female locker room/restroom in the world. Can you imagine if the whole football team in a high school "decided they were women". Liberals would say they should immediately be able to go into the girls locker room. After all, they think they're girls right? Too funny

gmlewis
Houston, TX

The complication in adding groups to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is in the area of accommodations. Hiring Mormons, Muslims, or Jews requires very few workplace adjustments. Employees with disabilities require more extensive accommodations, but the law stipulates that these need only be reasonable. Accommodating gay employees would be fine if, like those with disabilities, accommodations need only be reasonable. Thus Hooters could hire gay men as waitresses, and only have to pay the cost of "chest prostheses."

Ranch
Here, UT

The above two comments indicate why this legislation is necessary.

Contrariuser
mid-state, TN

Good article, DN! Pat on the back to the author.

@Chris B --

"I see a man who thinks he is a woman..."

It doesn't make any difference whether he is actually a woman or not. The issue here is that if you are an employer, you don't have any right under the Constitution to discriminate against him. As long as he can do the job that you are hiring people for, he has just as much right to be hired as anyone else.

"...should be allowed in any female locker room/restroom in the world. "

This is not a law about locker rooms. This is a law about employment. Please try to stay on topic.

Interesting facts in today's NYT --

It notes that Mormon legislators provided crucial support for this bill.

Those included Harry Reid (I didn't know he was Mormon!), who said: “People shouldn’t be able to fire them because of their sexual orientation any more than you can fire them if they’re Mormon".

Out of 7 Mormon US Senators, **five** of them voted FOR the bill.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

Please forgive the levity of my previous comment. I was just demonstrating that the law allows a great deal of ambiguity when it comes to accommodations. It is easy to just assume that the law will require non-discrimination in hiring practices, but the open question is "To what extent will the employer have to absorb additional expenses demanded by such employees?" Normally, these will be minimal, but the door is wide open for all kinds of lawsuits. The law of unintended consequences goes into full effect by these kind of open-ended legislation. Hopefully, nobody will demand an employer to retrofit the restrooms for single-use, but judging by our litigant society, it is certainly possible.

I am for this law, but I think there needs to be some additional verbage that limits the amount of accommodation expense a company might be required to absorb for any of the protected groups.

Contrariusier
mid-state, TN

@gmlewis --

""To what extent will the employer have to absorb additional expenses demanded by such employees?" Normally, these will be minimal, but the door is wide open for all kinds of lawsuits. The law of unintended consequences goes into full effect by these kind of open-ended legislation. Hopefully, nobody will demand an employer to retrofit the restrooms for single-use, but judging by our litigant society, it is certainly possible."

Keep in mind that when laws passed against gender-based discrimination, that would have required a LOT of new bathroom construction. The miniscule number of transsexuals who might want bathroom accommodation is absolutely nothing by comparison.

As for lawsuits -- remember, more than 20 states already have laws against orientation-based discrimination. NONE of those states have experienced massive numbers of lawsuits. There is no factual basis to predict that this Federal legislation will induce lawsuit mania either.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

@Contrariusier - You are right, the recent history doesn't foretell an exaggerated problem with accommodation expense. You will notice that I included ALL the protected groups, not just those who might be discriminated against based on gender.

I was suggesting additional verbage in the legislation to protect against a future trend. It is usually only after a protection has been well established in society values that a rare few individuals seek to take advantage. At that time, employers feel that they have no choice but to meet the demands rather than face bad press.

As I said, I am for the law. It needs to be a bit more specific; perhaps the words "with reasonable accommodations" could be added to give some leverage to employers.

watchman
Salt Lake City, UT

As an employer I believe I have the right to hire who I believe will do the job best for me.
If I want to hire a transgender person, I will do that. If not, I wont.

If I want to hire someone who I think will represent my business well, that is the one I want to hire.

Contrariuser
mid-state, TN

@watchman --

"As an employer I believe I have the right to hire who I believe will do the job best for me."

If you base your hiring criteria on characteristics that have no bearing on job performance -- like race or gender in most cases -- then you will be violating Federal and state laws.

RFLASH
Salt Lake City, UT

I lost my job for being gay. My fellow Mormons did it and I was still active in church. I had not come out. It was one of the most unpleasant events in my life. They degraded me! It is wrong! People should take a little time to know transgendered people. A person doesn't just wake up one morning and decide to be the opposite sex! I can see people feeling uneasy, but is it all that hard to just get to know someone. Why do people only see things in a sexual way? Being transgendered is about the identity of a person! Young children experience it! There are children that will tell their parents that they are in the wrong body. I didn't wake up and decide to be gay. I hated losing all my LDS friends! I bet many of you would be surprised when meeting some people. We shouldn't have to have it but we do. I don't hold my breath. We should give to others what we want for ourselves! What kind of place do we want to live in?

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