Groundbreaking Report Explores Barriers for LGBT Workers of Color
November 14, 2013 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
LGBT employees of color are among the most disadvantaged in the American workforce, according to a new groundbreaking report, A Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Color, released today.
Due to discrimination coupled with a lack of workplace protections, unequal job benefits and taxation, and unsafe, under-resourced U.S. schools, LGBT people of color face extraordinarily high rates of unemployment and poverty.
“Contrary to popular stereotypes, LGBT workers are more racially diverse than the general population, making it critical to address the unique obstacles they face,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition. “Bias and prejudice based on race, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression intersect to the detriment of LGBT workers of color.”
Research shows that about one-third of the LGBT community are people of color. This demographic has a significant risk of unemployment compared to non-LGBT people of color and a higher risk of poverty than non-LGBT people.
In addition, LGBT youth of color are at a higher risk of becoming homeless. Of the 20-40 percent of homeless youth in the U.S that identify as LGBT, 44 percent identified as black and 26 percent as Latino.
“America has passed numerous laws and policies based on an understanding that protecting the interests of workers and their families is good for the economy and good for the country. It is time for those protections to extend to LGBT workers of color,” said Jeff Krehely, Vice President and Chief Foundation Officer at the Human Rights Campaign.
The report, a companion to the recently released report, A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits, and More Taxes for LGBT Workers, is co-authored by a broad coalition, including the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the Human Rights Campaign, the Center for American Progress (CAP) and its FIRE Initiative, Freedom to Work, and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), in partnership with Color of Change, the Leadership Conference Education Fund, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the National Action Network, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), Out and Equal Workplace Advocates, and SEIU.
Find out more about the report at www.lgbtmap.org/workers-of-color.
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