A new map of the United States making the rounds shows the states where someone can be fired simply for being gay. But of course, it’s more complicated than that. Snopes reports:
Some of those red states have laws which protect public (i.e. government) employee from sexual orientation discrimination (but not those who work in the private sector), some of those states have laws at county or city levels which protect employees in those local areas from such discrimination, and some of those states protect public employees from employment discrimination through means other than laws (e.g., executive orders, administrative orders, personnel regulations).
The Snopes article also includes a couple other maps that break down employment protections as a just across the country by state, and by county.
In related news, Towleroad reports that the Obama administration is moving very slowly on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Which would extend protection nationwide:
While Obama’s advisers tout his record on the issue, they make clear that an executive order on federal contractors soon is unlikely, arguing that it would carry far less weight than broader congressional action. Legislation called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) lacks enough votes to become law. “We want to continue to advocate for legislation. We think that that’s the most robust way to accomplish what we want to accomplish,” White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told Reuters in an interview.
To be fair, such an action, although quick, could be easily undone the next time the presidency changes hands. Congressional action, though it seems unlikely right now, would be much harder to undo.