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Gay and Lesbian Issues - War in the Workplace - Assignment Example

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This paper 'Gay and Lesbian Issues - War in the Workplace" focuses on the fact that a person's cultural identity is largely defined by their status and position in the workplace. The job, position, company, income, duties all combine to form our cultural identity to our supervisors and co-workers. …
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Gay and Lesbian Issues - War in the Workplace
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Download file to see previous pages Corporations face similar challenging issues when deciding how to handle the policies and work environment concerning GLBTs. Corporate pressures, individual bias, and issues of personal freedom collide in the workplace and makes corporate America ground zero in the fight for GLBT rights.

The cultural identities that the worker brings to the workplace may be in the form of race, gender, ethnicity, or religious beliefs. Many of these identities are visible and readily acknowledged by the organization. Some identities, such as religion or a disability, may not be readily discernible and is left to the individual to expose or risk being discovered. Most of these identities are protected against discrimination by law. Race, religion, and gender all receive legal protection under recent civil rights legislation. An employer can not discriminate against a worker based on religious beliefs, practices, or lack of belief. However, GLBTs have no such federal legal protection. Cases involving discrimination against GLBTs have been tried under the laws against invasion of privacy, freedom of speech, and the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution (Beatty and Kirby 31). Though individual states and localities have passed local legislation, nearly half the population lives and works where no legal protection exists for GLBTs (Beatty and Kirby 32). This places the onus for non-discrimination in the hands of the corporation, the business, and the small business owner.

One of the biggest concerns for GLBTs in the workplace is whether or not to expose their sexual orientation. Within a social group, people who have a hidden identity will be assumed to be a member of the majority group (Clair, Beatty, and MacLean 81). In a predominately heterosexual culture, the GLBT will be assumed to be straight. In most cases, coming out as an openly gay individual will result in being stigmatized by the organization. Stigmatization results when a particular characteristic of personal identity is "...devalued in a particular social context" (Clair, Beatty, and MacLean 81).    ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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