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The LGBT+ Community and The Rights to Work

hanna profile image Hanna ・2 min read

As someone who is part of the LGBT+ community myself I have personally experienced some things that honestly shock me at some points, this ranges from being denied from a job due to a disability (which is reasonable in some cases!) to being declined due to sexual or gender orientation. The issue with both sides is allowing people to do this allows things like religious freedom, but at the same time this also enables discrimination and harassment in certain regards this type of debate or governmental orientation area also stems to fields like DevOps, SRE, among other fields.

I will say I have little room to speak about this subject. I am as of writing this post little experienced in the field of technological jobs, careers, and such, so I will only be speaking from my view point and experiences.

There is laws protecting employees from being fired from companies based on their sexual orientation among other things that are confined in the LGBT+ umbrella, this does not however protect against harassment or discrimination in the work place. While you can't exactly prevent people from being people and harassing others, you should be able to at the minimum prevent it in workplaces. This isn't however something that can be easily implemented especially with how society is in it's current state.

In the open source world doing things like adding a code of conduct, or other form of guidelines can help prevent harassment or discrimination against contribution by those classified under the LGBT+ umbrella. For larger projects where things like external social media is used (Discord, Slack, etc) a good rule of thumb is to enforce equality and fairness in the workspace and chats to prevent people from not only being discriminated against, but to make sure everyone is comfortable to be in the workspace as a whole.

I am aware that not everyone is comfortable being around or working with people that are classified under the umbrella term, but however this does not, and never will mean that they should be allowed to openly discriminate against, or harass another user for the reasons of their sexual or gender orientation, or overall identity.

This is a very heated subject and overall it's an extremely politically and morally charged debate. These are only my views on it and what I think should be done to more push the rights, equality, and fairness in workplaces in the world of development. This all being said, what are your views on this subject, and what do you think should be done to more enforce equality? I'd like to hear your stance or views on it.

Discussion (45)

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

this does not, and never will mean that they should be allowed to openly discriminate against, or harass another user for the reasons of their sexual or gender orientation, or overall identity.

Absolutely. Anyone who would dismiss the need to uplift and be there for our lgbt+ colleagues and co-developers is truly missing something.

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hanna profile image
Hanna Author

I completely agree! The amount of times i've seen people discriminated against for their identity is saddening. I truly hope things change in the future for the better and not for the worse.

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Michael Tharrington (he/him)

As someone who regularly works to uphold a Code of Conduct that encourages diversity & inclusivity, this really resonates.

I think that it is important for organizations to set good boundaries from the start if possible and define the discriminatory behaviors that aren't allowed. Make it clear to folks in the org how to report these situations and provide a way to do so anonymously. The minute people with discriminatory views start vocalizing these views they need to be stopped. Part of creating a good environment is setting good guidelines and following through with enforcing them. And just as importantly, when someone is mistreated, orgs must connect with the folks affected by the abuse to provide support and be prepared to listen intently & work to help improve things.

This got a bit rambly, but in a basic sense I think that orgs really need to dedicate resources to this — HR is important.

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hanna profile image
Hanna Author

Wholeheartedly agree! The enforcement part is particularly important as even if you have a proper Code of Conduct or Guidelines set in place, if no one is enforcing them it's useless.

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DarkWiiPlayer

In my opinion hiring the best, individually or in team is the most efficient strategy to increase profit.

In that sense, everybody is in favour of discrimination; after all, you have to discriminate by some criteria, otherwise you'd be employing every single applicant.

But when people say "job discrimination", they usually mean discrimination based on factors that have no influence on ones job performance, specifically factors that the applicant / employee has no control over.

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Esteban Hernández

If you are in the U.S., 17-1618 Bostock v. Clayton County (06/15/2020) - Supreme Court found that the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity as both of these factors are inextricably related to sex. It is also the employers responsibility (or rather the defendant's) responsibility, not the plaintiff's, to prove that the alleged discrimination didn't occur.

Further, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. ___ (2018) is a case often cited by religious institutions as the foundation for discrimination against LGBTQ+ people due to religious belief but this is an incorrect interpretation of the ruling which states that the State cannot compel speech but can require business. Meaning that the government cannot force you to accept something you are religiously opposed to but a business must still abide by anti-discrimination laws.

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Erin Bensinger (she/her)

Excellent discussion topic! I'm so sorry to hear that you've personally experienced discrimination related to your ability and your gender and sexuality.

I'm a firm believer that diverse teams, especially in tech, create better products. If everyone in the room is coming from a similar perspective and a similar lived experience, there's no friction, and the product won't be as strong, robust, or broadly applicable as it could be.

As far as what more could be done to enforce equality in the workplace, I think that companies seeking to be inclusive need a strong, clear stance on LGBTQ+ acceptance and inclusion, and that stance needs to be enforced from the top down (as well as policy as to how discrimination will be handled and corrected). That stance could come to life in the forms of training, company policy, management-funded employee resource groups, or any number of other things that will integrate the importance of team diversity and inclusion into the company's structure. And it needs to have good follow-through! As a member of the community myself, these are measures that would make me feel safe and supported as an employee.

There's an upcoming conference from the Leadership Training Institute on this very topic that I'm really looking forward to!

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Gary Bell

It's frustrating and annoying that this is still an issue.

I've been asked the question by someone in that community whether them working for me would be a problem. My answer to them at the time was "I don't care", which i now realise wasn't a great answer because I didn't articulate it right.

What I meant, and now articulate to that point, is:

  1. If you have the ability to do the job, you are welcome on my team
  2. If someone on my team has an issue with you being part of the LGBT+ community, then I will deal with it, with the help of HR.
  3. If someone outside my team has an issue with it, I will help you through any process for HR and that person's manager to deal with.

All I want on my team are people who are willing and able to do the job. If they are harassing, abusing, or otherwise discriminating against someone, they aren't then being willing to do the job.

I'm fortunate enough to work for a company which has the same viewpoint as me, and has members of the LGBT+ community working there. I don't know if they have had to take action before because of it. But I will make sure action happens if it's affecting someone on my team.

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Hermes Caretta (he/him)

There is no such thing as "nice nazi", a nazi is a nazi. There is that history, if you are in a table with 9 persons, and one nazi sits on the table, than you have 10 nazis, there is no things as "nice nazi"

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JoelBonetR

Hey guys you talked a lot and I need a TL;DR, by the way the topic is "positive discrimination" which is a term backed those days but hey, here's some news, they lied to you. There's no such thing like positive discrimination. They add positive before a bad word just to make it sound good.
Discrimination is discrimination, if you discriminate a person to give opportunities to another there's discrimination anyway, it doesn't matter the reason or the goal you plan to achieve. People needs to get paid for what they worth not being paid more or hired due to a condition, and this applies to any industry.
A blind person can code without issues but this person may not be the best cap driver, isn't it?
A deaf person can be good at many jobs but maybe not as sound technician, the same way that by your mental behavior you may not be able to code on a place or another.

Imagine one being poor on abstract acknowledgement and really bad at mathematics because some mental issues, does it worth for this person to fight against the system and pick a place coding and architecting machine learning and neural networks? Wouldn't be better to code layouts from a designer into a software view so this person can do a job without being less proficient than others?

The concept of positive discrimination only makes the things worse and generates hate because it's going all against the meritocracy and it's not fair to pick a job only by having a certain condition, you need to know your limits and ask for help to reach something near to what you like, but realistic. The world is not a hollywood movie and trying to make the perfect world for everyone only makes it worse. There are people out there, tones of people, and tones who come from a poor or modest families and who are fighting to get better into something to get a better life, are you really saying that "thanks to positive discrimination" this people who are pushing hard will not be able to get a job only because they're not on this conditions? fuck off

There's a concept on philosophy of law: Rights need to have an implicit justice, if something is not fair then there's no justice, and with no justice we can't get rights.

Do you want to help a blind? a deaf? a person with certain condition? Ok, give them the opportunity to study on a special institute - college that adapt it's learning process to this issues. Making job quotas and giving preferences on a way or another to a person is unfair for the rest.

darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

Expressing nazi views isn't necessarily illegal; there has to be an intent to incite hate, which is a big part of what nazis usually do, but not all of it.

Anyway; I was considering the context mentioned in the original comment talking about a nazi not expressing their views (at work, specifically), so the whole "If you're at a table where a Nazi starts expressing their views" part is already a different situation.

Personally, even in that case, I'd usually try to explain why their ideas make no sense instead of just telling them to get lost. I am completely indifferent to sitting at a table or otherwise associating with nazis. The only meaningful factor is whether I can steer them even just a little bit away from that path or not. If yes, then good. If no, at least I tried.

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Tom

I think there is a paranoia that companies are over-hiring and boosting LGBT people out of fear or a requirement to hit quotas or to improve their public image. But I think this is incredibly cynical thinking. The flaw in this simple "pick the person that's fit for the job" style of thinking is that it completely disregards everything that builds a good worker in the first place.

You know, it's a concoction of belief in self, desire to always learn and improve, striving to become a good collaborator, viewing failure as opportunity to learn, and occasional uplifting adivce from peers or mentors. This is a much harder mindset to cultivate if you're facing prejudice. The imposter syndrome you feel is 10x other people's.

So to the people facing this prejudice, although it is an uphill battle, keep pushing. Know your potential is huge, and you can get there by holding yourself to your own high standards with self-assuredness.

To everyone else, try to learn to see from others' perspectives, understand all the intricacies of the extra challenges they face. You should wish to see your colleages grow, not look for reasons to think they don't have the potential.

v6 profile image
🦄N B🛡

It does seem like the usual woke knee-jerk reaction, reminiscent of the work of the writers Marcuse or Lorde, where anyone who disagrees must be called a [racist|bigot|fragile|-phobic] rather than addressed openly. "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house," as they say.

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v6 profile image
🦄N B🛡

As a capitalist, I am pretty much in favor of discrimination

In the old sense, prior to its equivocation, I suppose everyone is in favor of that sort of "discrimination," as an antonym to "indiscriminate."

We'd do well to remember it has more than one meaning, and that not all categories need be annihilated. At least a minimum of competence, for instance, seems like a pretty important factor. I want to "discriminate" in this sense if I have to choose a surgeon for a family member's cancer!

Your line of reasoning based on the influence of market forces on demographic trends in hiring, including race, age, sex, and income, reminds me of the fourth chapter of Thomas Sowell's book, "Discrimination and Disparities."

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Mukul Mishra

// apple's CEO "Tim Cook" is Gay too

if i have to hire people for my company then what exactly i'll look for is the "skill". it doesn't matter who you are and who you are not. i wont even ask for any certificates if he/she/anyone has skills. and btw, human has no right to criticise anything "god" has created.

Suggestion for you: JUST ignore THEM and if things get tough, report the company and start looking for some good place.

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JoelBonetR

It's a simple mater. Sexual orientation does have nothing to do on a job context.
There's no point on discriminate someone by its sexual orientation (also who the fuck is being asked for that on a job interview? I didn't see that on my entire life) and also there's no point on setting "quotas" like "hey company, you'll need to hire at least a 10% gay people", I've been saw things like this and it's just disappointing and seems quite unreal to add preferences based on sexual orientation on a context where this is not meant to be something relevant. Also this measures cause straight people to be discriminated.
If you got to chose between 2 people, one being straight that worked harder and one being gay and worked poorly you'll need to be able to chose the straight as you'll be silly for not hiring the gay on a reverse situation.

The issue here is government and law applied to inner life of people instead keeping the limits of them, we (everyone) are loosing rights day by day and we are fighting between us for stupid things like sexual orientation, being man or women or the color of our skin. Then there's people over us earning millions by laughing at the rest and this people doesn't care about any of those concerns that they put into the society.

People need to be pragmatic. Your sexual orientation? I don't care. Your religion? I don't care. Your color skin? I don't care. As long as it concerns to me, your acts are what makes you being you, nothing else.

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JoelBonetR

I don't know how you arrived to the points and didn't seek for information about the second ones. I'm just saying that the concern of a company must be the performance and knowledge and/or experience to deal with the desired tasks and that sexual orientation have nothing to do here and must be ignored as a point for hiring or not

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Sloan, the sloth mascot
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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

Ok so we are both saying the same 😆

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

You say there are laws, but that's very much dependant on the country you live in.

This is a very heated subject and overall it's an extremely politically and morally charged debate.

I think it's only heated or political in places where people are systemically discriminated against. That's it. It's like saying that there's controversy over whether people should be allowed to grow to over 6'2" - some people might think there's an argument to be made but the rest of us just don't understand why it's even considered.

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hanna profile image
Hanna Author

As i said this is based on my experience, so the USA in this case, could of clarified that I suppose. And i fully agree about the height example, but people are people and harass and discriminate people over their preference and identity for ridiculous reasons.

darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

if you are in a table with 9 persons, and one nazi sits on the table, than you have 10 nazis

Same logic would then apply to radical leftists. Ergo, if you have 8 people, one radical right-winger and one radical left-winger sitting on a table, you have 10 radical left-and-right-wingers, and, for all we know, 8 of them don't even know it yet.

If you think that sounds stupid, then you're on a good way to understand why the comment makes no sense whatsoever.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

That's a very literal interpretation and I think misses the gist of what the phrase is about.

This is a German phrase and I think it's explained pretty well here:

Not quite a saying, more of a folk wisdom. Most Germans believe, that Nazism isn’t a reasonable opinion, which can be discussed, but a crime, which should be avoided.

I guess, that’s what Jens Foell wanted to say here: If you associate yourself with a Nazi, act like Nazism is just an opinion like any other opinions or accept some Nazi ideas as a thinkable alternative, then you are going to pave the Nazis their way to power, like many Germans did in the 1930s.

Not only the dyed-in-wool Nazis brought Hitler to power, but also the people who were indifferent concerning the threads toward democracy or who sympathised with some of the Nazi ideas and thought about the rest of the Nazi ideology: “It won’t be that bad, right?” Those people are also guilty to bring Hitler into power.

We Germans know that. We studied our own history. So we do know, that you have to say to Nazis: You have no place here! You are none of us! You are the enemy of democracy! Nazis raus!

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DarkWiiPlayer

Not quite a saying, more of a folk wisdom. Most Germans believe, that Nazism isn’t a reasonable opinion, which can be discussed, but a crime, which should be avoided.

I already disagree with that statement. Most Germans, and most people in general, don't believe nazism is a reasonable opinion, but I don't think many believe it to be a crime.

As for why I disagree with the saying:

People on the left these days often do actually believe that any meaningful interaction with a nazi is already a crime that should be punished by harassment, mostly online but sometimes even physical. That won't get us anywhere and if anything will just paint the baddies as the lesser evil, which is the last thing we should want.

Nazis raus!

That one has my unconditional thumbs up though.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

I don't think it paints the baddies as the lesser evil when you refuse to tolerate their expressing of Nazi views. If you're at a table where a Nazi starts expressing their views, you can tell them that their views aren't welcome or leave the table. I think the phrase is about not being complicit or silent while these views are expressed.

It actually is a crime to express Nazi beliefs in Germany — the legal concept of "Volksverhetzung" that's talked about in this article.

We can both agree on:

Nazi raus!

I generally feel like it's a waste of time and energy to try and convert a Nazi to reasonable beliefs.

v6 profile image
🦄N B🛡

positive discrimination

Do you refer here to what's commonly known in the USA as "affirmative action"?