A Broken Bargain

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Recently, the Movement Advancement Project, along with the Human Rights Campaign and the Center for American Progress, authored a report entitled: “A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits and More Taxes for LGBT Workers.” Although they perform their job as well as their heterosexual coworkers, LGBT workers are not able to get the same treatment or protections. While some companies do expand benefits to LGBT employees, much of the problem rests with the law, which is something that a company cannot fix.

This has a negative impact on LGBT families. Because families do not get the same benefits, pay higher taxes, and are subject to discrimination, they do not have the same kind of security that heterosexual families have. And because as much as 37% of LGBT families have children, it is not only the parents who are affected by unfair law.

One of the main problems that causes this issue is that most members of the LGBT community cannot legally marry their significant other. Marriage is often required to qualify a partner for employee benefits. Even when a gay or transgender individual is fortunate enough to live in a state where they can get legally married, the Defense of Marriage Act forbids the federal government from recognizing the marriage, denying the individual over 1,000 federal benefits granted to opposite sex couples.

One of the suggestions that this report makes is that federal, state, and local governments should enact non-discrimination protections that include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. These governments should also seek to provide protection for wage discrimination and make sure that discrimination claims are handled swiftly. By following these recommendations, the government can ensure an atmosphere of fairness and equality in the workplace.

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