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A Texas State Senator Just Proposed a Ban on LGBT Employment Discrimination

It's impossible to pin down exactly how much employment discrimination there is against the LGBT community in Texas. Equality Texas estimates that gay men and women on average make 10 percent less than their straight, married counterparts and that a quarter of transgender Texans have lost a job because of their gender identity. It's also impossible to say it doesn't happen.

Right now, that's completely legal. Unlike race, sex, disability and national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity are not covered by state anti-discrimination laws. The state Legislature could soon change that. It probably won't, but the matter is now on the table.

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, filed a bill this afternoon that would bar any employer from failing to hire, firing or otherwise discriminates against an employee based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Right now, Texas remains one of about 20 states, mostly in the South, that lack any state-level employment protections for LGBT individuals.

And what are the chances of the bill's passage? Just about zilch in the Republican-dominated Legislature. But lawmakers' sentiments are shifting, if slowly.


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