In a shocking development, a new report has revealed that it’s legal in 15 states in America to fire people based on their sexual orientation.
Currently, the country has certain state laws and federal court decisions that create employment protections for the LGBTQ community depending on where they live and work.
Movement Advancement Project, or MAP – a Boulder, Colorado-based think tank, spoke to the Daily Mail about the issue.
“There is a geographical swath down the middle (of the country) and then a swath down the southeast that don't offer protections for (LGBTQ people)," said Naomi Goldberg, director of policy and research at MAP.
"A majority of people in most states support protection for LGBTQ people at work, and yet there's been a lack of action on the part of lawmakers to address that will of the people,” Goldberg added.
One of the instances was when, Patricia Dawson, 50, of Pangburn, Arkansas was fired from her job as a contractor in 2012 after revealing to her boss that she was transitioning to a woman.
What was saddening was that the termination came despite being reassured that this wouldn’t happen as she was one of the firm’s best employees. Since Dawson lived in Arkansas – a state with no legal employment protections for LGBTQ people, she had little option.
Recollecting the incident, Dawson told Daily Mail that she was ‘literally crushed.’ Named Steve upon birth, her boss felt that she was too much of a distraction and couldn’t afford to lose a contract over one person.
To date, there are 21 states and the District of Columbia that have passed laws that prohibit employment discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Pennsylvania and Michigan, two additional states details out existing laws protecting their residents from sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and identity of gender.
There are another 26 states that have no protections for the community, but given that 11 of them are in federal circuit, they fall under the law where discrimination based on gender identity is prohibited.
That leaves 15 states where no protections exist that would prevent employers from firing someone simply for being gay or transgender.
Of those, Texas is the state with the largest LGBTQ population (873,454), followed by North Carolina (323,319), Virginia (259,269) and Missouri (180,486).
The other states include South Carolina (139,236), Louisiana (138,998), Oklahoma (113,491), Mississippi (79,814), Arkansas (76,251) and Kansas (72,782).
In addition, West Virginia (57,667), Nebraska (55,192), South Dakota (19,939), North Dakota (15,697) and Wyoming (14,618) also lack employment protections.
A 2018 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that 69 % of America supports laws that would protect the community from workplace discrimination. However, the overall support declined when compared to 2015 where the support percentage read 71%.