LGBTQ Discrimination in Arkansas

Arkansas is just one of the many states that does not have any laws that protect against gender identity discrimination. In fact, the state government continues to try to pass bills that are anti-LGBTQ.

The link below contains a video clip from an interview with Arkansas state Representative Mickey Gates on March 17, 2017. On the topic of gender identity, he argues that although people can identify however they want to and nobody can stop them, the state does not need to acknowledge them or their feelings.

http://www.thv11.com/news/local/legislator-says-state-isnt-obligated-to-recognize-gender-identity-of-transgender-arkansans/423216338

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Gender Identity Discrimination in the Workplace: A Refutation

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Discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community is an extremely prevalent issue within workplace environments across the country. Many instances in which people were denied jobs, fired, harassed, and more simply because of their sexuality or gender identity unfortunately continue to occur in America today.

In 2014, a few steps were taken towards finding a solution when former president Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited the federal government from contracting with any firms that discriminated against their workers, customers, or clients for reasons such as their sexual orientation or gender identity. Ten days after, he signed an additional order which stated that all firms doing business with the federal government were required to prove their adherence to federal laws and executive orders. This enforced his initial executive order by having all workplaces demonstrate that they are completely fair as well as respectful towards LBGTQ employees.

Years later, in 2017, our country has unfortunately regressed in terms of this matter under the presidency of Donald Trump. Despite his assurance at the beginning of his term that not only did he intend to protect the LGBTQ community but also that he would not rescind the executive order concerning their rights within the workplace, he later proved that he was not on the side of those who are gay, transgender, etc.

On Monday, March 27, President Trump annulled Obama’s second executive order on the issue. By doing so, he took away the requirements for firms having to confirm their compliance to the order regarding discrimination against LGBTQ workers. While that order may still be in place, there is now nothing that is there to back it up and ensure that employers are not violating the law. Not only does this give firms the opportunity to discriminate against those within the LGBTQ community essentially without facing any consequences, but it sends the message to the people that the government does not care whether or not you break the law, which makes doing so ok.

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It is upsetting that this order has been rescinded, as well as it is upsetting that no additional action has been taken towards improving the lives and opportunities of those who identify as LGBTQ in work environments. Everybody should be treated equally and with respect despite their sexual orientation or gender identity. The fact that President Trump voided Obama’s order lets the public believe that it isn’t important to respect people who may be different from you and that they do not deserve the same equal rights as everyone else.

Everyone, no matter what sexuality, gender, or gender identity, should be granted the same freedoms as everybody else. It is unfortunate that this may no longer be demonstrated within workplaces following President Trump’s recent decision, but hopefully further action towards putting a stop to LGBTQ discrimination will be made in the near future.

Jory Mandell

My name is Jory Mandell and I am a sophomore public relations major at the University of Maryland. I was born and raised in Montclair, New Jersey, a town that is very diverse and accepting of anybody and everybody.

Growing up, I was surrounded by people of all races, religions, sexualities, and gender identities.  For the most part, my peers were all very open and comfortable about who they truly were, and were rarely judged or shamed for it. However, over the years I have come to realize that the rest of this world is not the same as my hometown, and it is something that upsets me greatly.

I chose to come attend this university because of the diversity and the large population of the student body. While it is, for the most part, more accepting than others and there are many apart of communities such as that of the LGBTQ one, people are still not nearly as aware as they should be when it comes to this subject.

I am lucky enough to feel comfortable with who I am and in my own skin, but unfortunately, that can not be said for everyone. It is appalling that people have to feel shame when it comes to matters of their gender identity and that they are unable to have the same rights as everyone else.  This is a topic that I am personally very passionate about, and through this blog, I am hoping to inspire others to feel the same.  hands-in-air

Introduction

The purpose of this blog is to share our opposition to rules restricting the rights of those who do not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth. Regardless of what gender a person identifies with, we believe that every person should have equal rights and opportunities. Society has recently become more open and accepting, allowing many celebrities and public figures to feel comfortable revealing themselves as transgender. With these individuals openly discussing their gender identity in the media, it promotes others who may be questioning their identity to have the confidence to open up as well. Through this blog, we hope to continue this trend of positivity by encouraging others to become more accepting of all identities. Over the next few months, we will share our views regarding four controversial subtopics within the gender identity debate. We hope that you will continue to check back to read our weekly updates.many-gender