Lesser known facts about LGBT discrimination

Did you know?

Veterans Affairs uses state of residency (rather than state of celebration) in determining if a veteran’s marriage is respected or not in terms of ability to access a VA home loan. Apparently, even if you honorably served your entire nation, you’re only entitled to equal benefits if you live in one of the 19 states that have marriage equality.

There is no federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in places of public accommodation. Therefore, in several states, counties, cities, etc., LGBT people can be denied service at a restaurant or a room in a hotel. Funny, reminds me of that whole “you can’t sit at this lunch counter” issue that led to that little thing called the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT (which doesn’t protect on the basis of sexual orientation… yet?).

Over 40% of LGBT individuals report that they are closeted at the office. Among employees aged 18-24 are only 7% likely to be out at work, despite the fact that Gen Y is more favorable of same-sex issues than any prior generation. Guess they don’t trust that their bosses will be as open-minded.

Want a business case? Nearly three quarters of closeted LGBT workers are likely to leave a company within three years of employment, due to the daily stress of keeping their private lives secret. In other words – you’re hemorrhaging Millennials (see above).

In 2009, The New York Times compared the lifetime costs of a hypothetical same-sex couple compared with those of a hypothetical heterosexual married couple and found the same-sex couple would pay more overall – in the best-case scenario, the couple’s incremental lifetime “cost of being gay” was about $41,000; in the worst-case scenario, it exceeded $467,000. Thanks to the ending of DOMA, hopefully this isn’t quite as stark anymore.

Married, or not, LGBT employees can still be legally fired in 29 states; in 34 states, it is legal to fire a transgender employee. LGBT professionals who choose to be out in certain parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk prison time and in some cases, death. Homosexuality is illegal in 76 countries, and only 49 countries have legal protections against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. In at least five countries, homosexuality is punishable by death.

Over half of LGBT workers report hearing jokes or derogatory comments about gay people on the job. Has it happened in your workplace? How did you respond?


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