The workplace is a microcosm of society. As the battle over same-sex marriage rages in the United States, many people may not realize that there is also no consistent federal protection for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) individuals in the workplace. In fact, over half of US states have no laws on the books protecting LGBT from discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Illinois has discrimination laws in place protecting workers due to their sexual orientation, but there is no protection for government workers based on gender identity or gender expression.
One of the arguments for same-sex marriage is that when allowing LGBT to marry, they then have access to the same benefits as straight couples. They become eligible for survivor and spousal benefits for Social Security and pension benefits and they can claim spousal benefits for healthcare. So far, with the addition of Pennsylvania in the past week, 19 states plus the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage. Illinois law allowing same-sex marriage takes effect June 1, 2014, with civil unions already recognized via previous state legislation.
Continue reading at In addition to marriage equality fight, LGBT faced with workplace discrimination.