Now that marriage equality is spreading across the land and everyone is celebrating, let’s stop for a second and realize that there is no protection for LGBT in many of the states where you can now legally get married.
More gay people can now get legally married. They can still be legally fired.Or be refused service or be evicted once they get married.
By Patrick J. Egan
With the Supreme Court’s refusal earlier Monday to hear a series of cases on same-sex marriage, the movement for LGBT rights in the United States has taken a completely unexpected turn: Gay people can now get legally married in more states than where they are legally protected from job discrimination. As this map shows, there are now five states — Indiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia — where gay people can get legally married and where it is perfectly legal for an employer to fire someone for being gay.
That leaves those hoping for the extension of employment protections to gay people with little hope in the short term. Of the 29 states that do not have laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, all but one — West Virginia — has a state legislature either partially or completely controlled by Republicans. If (as expected) courts continue to expand marriage equality to additional states, more and more gay people in these states will find themselves in a most peculiar conundrum: they can get legally married to someone of the same sex, and legally fired for doing so.There are some court cases that are making their way through the legal system that are trying to expand on the gains we trans-people have made with Title VII. They are arguing that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination and I think they have a good chance of winning. However, Title VII only covers employment discrimination not public accommodation or housing discrimination.