HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – There is renewed debate over whether employers have the right to fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This week, a group of 48 members of congress including representative Robert Aderholt weighed in on the subject by submitting an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding a case of employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
They claim the Civil Rights Act Title VII “does not expressly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.” The brief ads that modification should be sought, not through the court but, through the legislative process.
WHNT News 19 spoke with a representative from the Huntsville chapter of “PFLAG” (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to learn more about how she believes a modification to the Civil Rights Act would affect the LGBTQ community.
Ali Lynn says the nation has come a long way in understanding what gender identity means “We understand it is a part of a person’s identity that should be protected,” says Lynn.
Lynn believes it’s a matter of making things clear, “I think it’s just a matter of updating language which we’ve done for decades,” she says. “As our society evolves and as we get smarter and better able to support our community and the people in our community we understand that words matter.”
For Lynn hard work is a priority and she says there are many reasons people should get fired, “I believe you should show up and do your job the best you can and you should be able to based on your job description,”
But she does not believe someone should be fired based on who they love or how they identify, “What I feel in my heart and what I believe that our community understands is that you shouldn’t be able to be fired based on who you love or how you identify,” she says those two things are separate.
“I think when we meet somebody, when we have an interaction with somebody who is different than us we understand, wait, they are just a person. It’s important that they are a good person but it’s not important that they are gender identity or sexual orientation is something I’m comfortable with.”
PFLAG Huntsville has a monthly peer support meeting the second Thursday of every month. The next one is Thursday, September 12th. Anyone who wants to support the LGBTQ community is invited to attend. You can find more information here.
Trans Family Support Services is another resource available in Huntsville for a parent of someone who is questioning or has transitioned, or is thinking about transition. They meet on the second Sunday of every month and youth facilitators are available.