The 29 States Where You Can Be Fired for Being Straight
In an era where few things are deemed as laudable as coming out as gay, Tim Cook (Apple CEO) has continued the trend by officially announcing his homosexual orientation. Seeing himself as an influential leader, he conveyed the responsibility he feels to fight for so-called equality of gays. To support his claim of inequality of gays, Cook proclaimed that "there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation." Almost instantly, the media flooded the web with articles like, "The 29 States Where You Can Still Be Fired for Being Gay" – complete with colorful maps to pinpoint the bigots. Horrible, isn't it? States that actually allow you to fire people because they are gay! But like many liberal chants, the statement is incredibly misleading and the truth isn't quite as simple.
At surface level, Cook’s statement leads one to believe that laws have bene passed that specifically give the right to fire homosexuals. The more accurate way to state the law is that 29 states do not have laws protecting the status of gays -- which isn't quite the same (and not as hostile) as laws that specifically allow employers to fire their employees for being gay. This is an important distinction because it means that just because you aren't allowed to fire for being gay, doesn't mean that you can be fired solely for being gay. Written another way, lack of protection against firing gays is not a license to fire gays. You need a job-related reason to fire someone, regardless of their sexual orientation.
The reality is that even in at-will states, where you can supposedly be fired for any reason, you still need a compelling case to protect yourself against lawsuits and wrongful termination claims. And if you simply wrote down that a person is gay that probably wouldn't be sufficient. In other words, there is no law that would give you the unequivocal right to fire solely because a person is gay -- which is exactly what Tim Cook and the band of media wants you to think.
It would no more incorrect to state that in 29 states you can be fired for being straight -- because, well, those states have no laws protecting the status of sexual orientation -- to include heterosexuals. I could just as easily make a claim for a myriad of other arbitrary traits. For example, in 29 states, you can be fired for eating bananas, or having six kittens, or maybe doing yoga, etc. And I could point to the fact that there are no laws protecting those activities. But the truth is, I would never get away with claiming any of these as reasons for terminating someone. Like a person’s sexual orientation, these are largely irrelevant to the decision to fire, and thus there is no reason to have some law protecting them.
A much more interesting statistic than the number of states that don't protect gays would be the actual number of people who have been fired solely for being gay. I wonder why none of the articles provide even a rough estimate. Is it perhaps because there are no such cases? Could it be that most employers don't really care about peoples' sexual lives? Maybe something related to job performance is slight more important? A rudimentary search of people that have been fired because of their homosexual lifestyle reveals almost nothing other than a few isolated incidents. Of course, many gay rights activists may claim that anyone firing for solely being gay would officially use other reasons. And while this may be true, it would incredibly difficult to falsify and even creating laws that protect gays wouldn't solve this issue. Whatever the case may be, one would certainly expect to find more data if the firing of gays were as big an issue as Tim Cook and the media want you to believe. I would further suggest that the burden of providing evidence should be on the gay crowd. I would suspect that the real reason there is no data is because it’s mostly a non-issue, which would explain why there are no unnecessary laws to protect against it.
Of course, liberals aren't really concerned about the job security of gays. This is about something much bigger. Claiming that gays can be fired in half the country supports the fabricated narrative that gays are oppressed. This then feeds the "pride" that Mr. Cook and gays have when coming out. Without oppression, there is no applaud, no affirmation and acceptance - no furthering of the gay agenda. But since there isn't any data to backup this fantasy, they resort to insidious, misleading phrases to muster up cries of discrimination.