The Dallas Morning News

Legislatio­n targets LBGTQ

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This is an educator’s view on SB 15 and SB 17. Most people don’t realize that we can be fired from our jobs for being queer and/or trans. After a lecture I gave recently, a retired lawyer approached me to ask if I was really sure that you could be fired for being gay.

I’m pretty sure: The Employment Nondiscrim­ination Act, which seeks to outlaw discrimina­tion based on sexual orientatio­n or gender identity, has been introduced in Congress since 1994 and never passed.

This month, bills proposed in the Texas Legislatur­e aim to make us even more vulnerable. SB 17, which purports to be a “religious freedom” bill but actually ensures that anyone can refuse to serve LGBTQ people at their place of business, passed the Senate.

And SB 15 takes aim at Texas cities with municipal ordinances prohibitin­g discrimina­tion, including Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth. In one study, two fictitious résumés were sent out to job openings. One mentioned a college gay organizati­on. The résumés without the “gay marker” got called back almost twice as often. The “callback gap” was bigger in Texas.

My job is to help all students, including LGBTQ students, imagine a future in which they can thrive. I oppose these bills.

Lisa Moore, Austin, director, LGBTQ Studies Program,

University of Texas at Austin

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