The Weekly LGBTQ News: issue #11
On June 30th, U.S. President Barack Obama asked his staff to prepare for his second executive order – one that would protect trans* federal employees from discrimination. The new order follows the previous order Obama spoke about a few weeks ago that prohibited federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. In 1998, then-President Bill Clinton issued an executive order that prevented discrimination based on sexual orientation, and not gender identity.
A study provided by the Equal Rights Center and Freedom to Work showed that discrimination in the LGBTQ community was existent among federal contractors. LGBT applicants were less likely to receive a call back from federal employees. The study conducted sent a pair of fictitious characters to various federal contractors, with “Jennifer”, who participated in LGBT activism and was the stronger candidate, never heard back. “Michelle”, on the other hand, who was the non-LGBT applicant, received several callbacks, and a position was held until she could get in contact. ExxonMobil is the largest federal contractor and recently received criticism for its lack of protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The United States Supreme Court decided not to weigh in on California’s ban on reparative therapy. Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a Californian senate bill that prohibited children younger than 18 to undergo reparative therapy. The bill was challenged but upheld when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stated it did not violate free speech rights of practitioners or minor patients and parents’ fundamental rights.
A few sources have confirmed that JP Morgan Chase sent its employees an internal survey asking questions relating to management and other issues. One such question asked if an employee has 1) a disability, 2) children with disabilities, 3) a spouse/partner with disabilities, 4) a member of the LGBT community and 5) an ally of the LGBTQ community but not identifying as such. An unnamed Chase employee told Professor Robert George of Princeton that he was fearful of losing his job over such questions because the survey was not anonymous, as it asked employees to enter their IDs. A spokesperson for the bank said they do not comment on internal surveys.