The U.S. Department of Labor proposed a regulation Aug. 13 to give businesses the power to discriminate based on a person’s gender or sexual orientation.
The proposal would allow businesses to use the guise of religious freedom as a reason not to hire a candidate, not because they’re unqualified or lack experience, but because of their sexual orientation or gender.
The Trump administration wants to broaden the idea of religious exemption when employers are going through the hiring process. Specifically, the Trump administration desires to let businesses gloss over state and local laws which prohibit discrimination.
This means someone who has gotten the proper degrees and worked hard throughout their life could potentially be denied a job because of their sexual orientation or gender. Regulations like this tell the American people that it’s acceptable to not treat everyone equally.
The country shouldn’t be heading in a direction that excludes others from opportunity. The U.S. is a nation where every one of its citizens should be treated equally. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, everyone is created equal – meaning everyone, not only those deemed worthy.
Everyone is entitled to fair and equal treatment without any exceptions. The U.S. is said to be the home of the free. Citizens pride themselves on the many freedoms they possess. However, these freedoms must not come at the expense of another person’s. One doesn’t necessarily have to like another individual, but they do have to respect them and treat them with dignity.
It’s important to note there’s no federal law that bars employers from making hiring decisions based on their opinions about the LGBTQ community. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states no one can discriminate against a job applicant based on their race, religion, sex and origin. Sexual orientation and gender aren’t explicitly included in Title VII.
In some ways, this rule does protect certain people’s freedoms. In the Bill of Rights, Freedom of Religion is given to U.S. citizens. Some claim that denying someone who’s LGBTQ a job is within the realm of religious freedom. They disagree with the way members of the LGBTQ community live their lives.
However, it’s one thing to choose the people you associate with, but another when working in a professional setting. When it comes to working at any job, the only thing that really matters is the most qualified people are being employed to benefit a business and its consumers.
The country has a separation of church and state for a reason. It serves to make sure religious organizations don’t interfere with the state and vice versa. This applies when it comes to the corporate world as well. While it’s important to maintain one’s beliefs and identity, it’s also critical to separate that when it comes to judging other people.
In the corporate setting, it should always come down to who is best for the job. Whether a person is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer has nothing to do with their work ethic and how they will perform at a job.
Simply, this proposal would only serve to protect some people’s freedoms and take away from others. This rule would do more harm than good.