Oppression Of Gays And Lesbians Essay

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WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY Oppression of gays and lesbians SW 3110 Greg Spiek 11/17/2009 This paper examines the present experience of oppression on gays and lesbians 2 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination because of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Other laws forbid employment discrimination based on individuals’ age or physical or mental disability. However, other aspects of humanity are beyond legal protection. Most notably, employment discrimination against individuals who are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual remains legal in most of the United States. The purpose of this paper is to examine the wage effects of such discrimination, what the consequences are for society if this discrimination continues, what goals American society should establish to achieve social justice for all oppressed groups, and finally, the role of social work in ending oppression. Much of the debate about adding sexual orientation to civil rights laws has centered on the need for such legislation. Proponents of civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people argue that these people experience employment discrimination and that it causes them economic and psychological harm. Opponents of civil rights protection argue that such laws are unnecessary and would grant gay people “special privileges” (Carroll 1992). Citing survey data purportedly showing that lesbian and gay people have higher than average incomes, they believe that lesbians and gay men are an affluent group without need for further protection. They also call into question the very existence of discrimination against them. Before examining employment discrimination, we should look first to see if there is reason to expect differential treatment of lesbians and gays. Historical, sociological, and
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