Main | Friday, November 14, 2014

ALABAMA: Lesbian Lawmaker Renames LGBT Rights Bill For Apple CEO Tim Cook

In 2011 openly lesbian Alabama state Rep. Patricia Todd introduced a bill to protect LGBT citizens from employment discrimination. The bill failed, but Todd is trying again and this time she has renamed the bill the "Tim Cook Economic Development Act." According to the governor, state employees are already protected.
In October, Cook — an Alabama native and CEO of one of America’s best-known tech companies — criticized the state’s employment laws in a speech before the Alabama Academy of Honor, where he was being inducted as a member. “Under the law, citizens of Alabama can still be fired for their sexual orientation,” Cook said. A few days after the speech, Cook came out as gay in an opinion piece published in Bloomberg Businessweek. On the day of Cook’s speech, Gov. Robert Bentley told The Anniston Star he wasn’t sure it was, in fact, legal to fire someone based on sexual orientation. He said he’d look into the issue. This week, Bentley’s office released a short statement saying that state agencies, at least, can’t fire people solely because they’re gay. “As it relates to state agencies in Alabama, it would be a violation of Title VII and Sections 1981, 1983 and 1985 of the Civil Rights Act to terminate a person based solely on sexual orientation,” Bentley’s press secretary, Yasamie August, wrote in an emailed statement. August’s statement didn’t address discrimination in private workplaces, and attempts to reach her for further comment Thursday were not successful.
Rep. Todd: "If you ask people on the street, they’ll say of course you can’t get fired. They think we’re a protected class, but we’re not." (Tipped by JMG reader Jeremy)

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