Texas currently still has no law prohibiting the discrimination of individuals on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for public and private employees on a statewide level.
So because of this, it is perfectly legal — and apparently OK — for employers to discriminate against somebody based on their sexual orientation or how they choose to identify themselves in Texas.
As a matter of fact, there are 28 total states that don’t have laws that protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in “employment, housing and public accommodations,” according to freedomforallamericans.org.
It is shameful that Texas is among these states that seemingly believes discrimination against LBTQ people is accepted.
Frankly, it is beyond time for Texas to adopt its own anti-discrimination ordnance. More specifically, it is time for the city of Denton to adopt one as well.
Denton is known to be an incredibly diverse, unique population full of all different kinds of people that can range from sexual orientation to race, along with many other things. It is quite shocking that Denton does not have its own anti-discrimination ordinance already set in place considering how diverse Denton as a city already is.
Equality should be the ultimate goal everywhere and with anti-discrimination ordinances, equality for all can become closer of a reality, and with support for these ordinances from all different people, it can help LGBTQ people feel more included and even more importantly, it can help them feel more protected statewide.
This past week was Transgender Awareness Week and on Nov. 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance was held to make aware, mourn and memorialize the many victims of transphobic violence. There have been 22 transgender people killed in the United States in acts of violence against them in 2019 alone, according to a report by hrc.org. Along with these shocking statistics, “34% of transgender individuals report experiencing suicidal ideation during the past year, 61% report experiencing suicidal ideation during their lifetime and 30% to 51% report at least 1 lifetime suicide attempt,” according to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
While it would have been nice for an anti-discrimination ordinance to be passed during Transgender Awareness Week to highlight and honor the lives of lost transgender voices, there is still hope that one can be passed eventually, even if the time is definitely appropriate for one. As a community and citizens of Denton, we should make it a priority to present Denton’s LGBTQ people with the same rights as the rest of the people in Denton already have.
It is also very important for students and younger people who are apart of the LGBTQ community who may just be entering into the work force either as a part time job to help pay the bills, or if they are entering into their first major job after they graduate to have this ordinance set in place already so they do not have to experience potential discrimination as soon and they enter into the work force. While other people’s actions are solely their now, it would be extremely beneficial for them to have this ordinance already there to possibly prevent unnecessary discrimination against them.
Denton is a very special and unique community, so we should all make it a mission to come together as one to make sure our LGBTQ people feel as respected, safe and important as the rest of us.
If you would like to support the cause for a non-discrimination ordinance in Denton, you can sign the petition here.
Featured Illustration: Kylie Phillips