Today the United States Senate passed a bill prohibiting work place discrimination of gays, lesbians and transgender persons. While I am glad that the Senate took up this piece of legislation, I think it is a sad statement on our society. The Federal government currently has protections in place to protect people from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability and genetic information. If this Bill were to pass by the House of Representatives, which is unlikely, the protected groups or classes would grow to include sexual orientation.
It is amazing to think that this list will keep growing over time. While I understand that at one point, we as a society needed to make dramatic changes to address the past by passing the Civil Rights Act and other pieces of legislation to protect women and the disabled, it seems to me that we all should recognize each other as different and value that. To recognize that businesses need a variety of talent and perspectives to grow and be successful.
Due to the number of protected groups, everyone, at one point in their life, will be a protected class. That being the case, do we even need this law or would it be better to just say, no discrimination, period. Treat people based upon performance, treat people based on their contribution and more importantly treat them as you would want to be treated.
Another law, more government, more lawsuits, more money for lawyers and wasted time. These are the things that will result in this Bill passing and any future laws being made to address the fact that people continue to discriminate against others.
I truly hope that one day the United States will evolve to the point that we won’t need laws to protect people from being treated unfairly based upon who they are, their beliefs, or what they look like.