When reading the Vice article on Homophobia in Startup Culture, I originally thought writing an article in response to this was a good idea. It wasn’t until reading the last few paragraphs that I changed my mind. According to the article, many companies do not have protections in place against LGBT discrimination because the Federal Government does not consider the LGBT community an underrepresented minority. This is why states can implement “religious freedom” laws without fear of recourse.
Within the startup culture (and business in general), those individuals who are open about their sexual orientation are penalized financially more times than not. Because of this, a trend to “stay in the closet” is rampant. Even among Millennials, there is a major push to keep their orientation hidden. Many LGBTQ groups are looking to add the community to the underrepresented minority government identification in order to protect people from discrimination. Unfortunately, this has not happened yet.
Although I am not quite certain why this is, my best guess is that the government is keeping the underrepresented minority identification to one based on ethnicity. For example, the government also mandates disabled employer protection when needed, but I am not sure it is within the underrepresented minority structure. The LGBT community absolutely deserves some kind of government protection. Like women and minorities, LGBT people have received harsh discriminatory practices. The deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter in the US was at an LGBTQ nightclub proving that members of the community are in fear of their life when connecting with like minded individuals.
Whether you’re for or against the lifestyle, you must admit that discrimination of the community happens on a daily basis. Unfortunately, LGBT is a unique community in that some lawmakers feel it is against their religion to support them. It is an unfortunate position but explains why the push for government representation has not happened.
In my opinion, the government needs to help protect the LGBT community by adding them as a discriminated group. To much evidence has proven that if someone belongs to the community, they suffer negatively for it. Only time will tell if this happens sooner, or later.