If you had any doubts, now there are statistics to back up the fact that the US is pretty homophobic.
A recent international study reveals that an astonishing 15.3% of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community in the U.S. have suffered harassment based on what is perceived to be their sexuality within the last year. That percentage breaks down to one in almost every six persons polled.
These statistics come as part of the Out Now Global LGBT2020 Study based in the Netherlands that polled over 100,000 people internationally.
Some other interesting figures indicated that only 44% of those polled in the US were out to all of their work colleagues implying that the remainder did not feel comfortable doing so. And 35% believed that coming out in the workplace would directly harm their prospects for promotion.
Statistics in the UK were only slightly better. There, one in seven of the LGBT community polled suffering harassment in the last year, and 53% had come out to their colleagues.
David Chalmers, the director of equal rights advocates The Kaleidoscope Trust cited the importance of the study and the ramifications for attitudes around the globe when countries like the US and the UK still have significant work to do to fight workplace discrimination against LGBT people.
In the US, federal laws do not protect against workplace harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes harassment in the workplace illegal based only on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, familial status and handicap. While some circuits have read the term “sex” to be inclusive of sexual orientation, these are the exceptions to the rule.
The individual states, however, are making some strides to improve workplace equality for the LGBT community by enacting anti-discrimination laws that specifically forbid disparate treatment of and harassment against people based on their sexual identity. Currently twenty-one states plus the District of Columbia outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, including California. For more information on California state anti-discrimination laws consult a sexual harassment lawyer in Orange County.
Out Now’s statistics show that despite the increase in legal protections, homophobia is alive and well in the US, and around the globe. Ian Johnson, Out Now’s CEO, believes that companies need to improve their workplace diversity and inclusion policies if any real improvements in attitudes towards gays and lesbians are to be made.
If you or someone you know is being subjected to harassment or discrimination based on your perceived sexual orientation a sexual harassment lawyer in Orange County can help.