We like to think of the United States of America as a fair society, a place where a person’s professional merit, rather than personal connections, is what gets them ahead. We refer to our nation as a meritocracy.
How can we be considered a meritocracy, though, when some people have their work taken away from them simply because of their private sexual preferences – preferences that don’t hurt anybody and don’t have any impact on their professional lives? That’s just the sort of unfortunate circumstance that many Americans find themselves in, because U.S. law currently fails to protect Americans from employment discrimination that takes place on the basis of sexual orientation. In the US, person can be fired or demoted simply for being homosexual.
U.S. Representative Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, is leading an effort in Congress to solve this problem. He has introduced H.R. 1755, legislation that, if passed into law, will prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The bill currently has 161 supporters. It has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Will it receive fair and speedy consideration there? Without some political pressure from American voters, it seems unlikely. The plodding chair of the committee, John Kline, hasn’t even managed to update the list of legislation referred to the committee for over a month. Kline is not yet a consponsor of H.R. 1755, either.
This is one of those bills where some citizen action can make a big difference. You know what to do, folks: Call your U.S. Representative through the congressional switchboard, at (202) 224-3121. While you’re at it, you can use the same switchboard to put a second call in to Congressman Kline.