Target: Sam Brownback, Governor of Kansas
Goal: Immediately return legal protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It is now legal for employers in the state of Kansas to discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity. An executive order by the state’s governor struck down a 2007 ordinance protecting LGBT persons from being discriminated against, fired or harassed in the workplace due to their personal choices. Proponents of the law say that because LGBT persons are not a protected class under federal anti-discrimination laws, it is up to individual states to decide whether or not to protect them.
Without these human rights protections, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons are not only at risk of being forced out of their jobs, but are at increased risk for other issues associated with poverty. This can include food insecurity, poor health, and even homelessness. Because of the nature of Kansas’ labor regulations, some LGBT persons may be unable to collect unemployment if fired due to their sexual preferences or gender identity.
This is not the first time that Kansas lawmakers have acted in a discriminatory manner toward the LGBT community. The state is currently fighting to appeal a federal court ruling that struck down a ban on same-sex marriages. Gay couples in Kansas are unable to adopt children, and while the state’s hate crime laws recognize crimes based on sexual orientation, there is no protection for those victimized due to gender identity.
The governor’s move will place thousands of Kansans at risk of unfair workplace harassment and even loss of employment. Removing employment protections from the LGBT community is a regressive and discriminatory move that must be rectified immediately. Sign the petition below to demand that the order is amended to include protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Dear Governor Brownback,
An executive order protecting LGBT citizens from discrimination and harassment in the workplace was recently struck down. Without it, thousands of citizens will be placed at risk of losing their jobs simply for being themselves.
This move is only the latest of Kansas’ backward and discriminatory actions against the LGBT community, which include a failure to recognize gender identity as a protected group under hate crimes laws. We, the undersigned, demand that this unfair governmental discrimination stop immediately, and that employment protections are returned to LGBT citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ludovic Bertron via Creative Commons