25, September 2018
An Open Letter to the Tennessee Governor
Governor Bill Haslam,
I implore you to help change the current Tennessee laws pertaining to discrimination in the workplace, specifically to include protections for sexual orientation. The current discrimination laws don’t protect the hundreds of thousands of LGBT employees that reside in Tennessee, that needlessly suffers from the bigotry and religious fanaticism of others in the workplace. LGBT people have long since remained a target for discrimination. Much of this is derived from thousands of year-old religious teachings.
LGBT people have been refused service, harassed, beaten, tortured, and even killed because of these beliefs. There has been little recourse for LGBT people throughout history. The LGBT community finally lashed back in the early 1960s, in the well-known Stonewall Riots. The past decade has seen the largest increase in rights for LGBT people, including the ability to adopt children and get married in 2015. People in the LGBT community work, love, and play just like everyone else. It’s a shame that it required federal action by the Supreme Court to recognize us as people, since our local state government in Tennessee did not.
These days it is a struggle to be openly gay in the workplace. There are many tribulations that we must go through daily, like workplace bullying, and homophobic slurs. All the while we must keep our mouths shut and smile, because we are scared to death that we could be fired or persecuted for just being ourselves. If we report the incidents to human resources, it looks like the ideal scenario is they do nothing...and worst case we face retaliation. This causes many frustrations and a lack of motivation for LGBT employees, who may dread even going to work because fellow coworkers can terrorize and harass them without consequence discrimination is bad for employees, businesses and the state of Tennessee. Time spent bullying and harassing others is time not spent on running the business and helping customers. Numerous harassment complaints can be a drain on human resources and employee morale. Poor morale leads to mediocre work and eventually the migration of talented employees to other firms...or even out of the state entirely. Provided the hundreds of thousands of...