>You may recalled I posted about the transgender woman who was fired from her job as a legislative editor at the GA General Assembly for opting to undergo a sex change. Well, U.S. District Judge Richard Story has ruled that Vandy Beth Glenn faced sex discrimination and has scheduled a hearing for July 13 to determine what remedy should be taken to fix the situation.
Glenn, who was born Glenn Morrison, was hired to work as editor of the state Office of Legislative Counsel in October 2005. Beginning the following year, she told supervisors she was transgender and was going to transition into becoming a woman. She was ultimately fired about two years later by state Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby, who is the only remaining defendant in her lawsuit.
Story, in a 50-page ruling, dismissed concerns that legislative leaders would lose confidence in the Office of Legislative Counsel if Glenn remained employed there. “[A]voiding the anticipated negative reactions of others cannot serve as a sufficient basis for discrimination and does not constitute an important government interest,” Story wrote.
I’m certain that the office will probably appeal the decision as the Georgia General Assembly–and the state–is not one who tolerant those who are different or those who do not fit into a box predetermined by society, hence the hasty illegal firing of Ms. Glenn. I hope this will be a precursor of things to come for our transgender brothers and sisters, but things aren’t looking too promising.
Right now, 21 states and the District of Columbia prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and another 12 prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, according to the HRC. That leaves more than 10 states that have NO laws on the books that protect transgender employees from discrimination, harassment or termination of employment. The Employment Non-Discriminaiton Act, introduced by Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, lingers in the House of Representatives and will probably not pass before this year’s 111th Congress comes to a close in December (an “epic” failure by the Democratic Party?)–despite polls showing that ordinary Americans, including conservatives, support the bill.
It’s amazing how legislators continue to drag their feet on ending discrimination as transgenders have to live in fear that their jobs can suddenly disappear and there aren’t any legal protections from bigoted employers and co-workers from destroying their lives. True equality won’t happen until our transgendered friends, family members and co-workers are seen as equal in the eyes of employers and legislators–and are accepted by society.