Supporters of a bill designed to prohibit employment discrimination against gay and lesbian state workers were disappointed — but, frankly, not surprised — by the state Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee’s 4-1 vote Thursday to kill Senate Bill 100. Known as the Public Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the bill by Sen. Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, was diverted to the dust bin of enlightened ideas following an attempt to gut it of any language delineating sexual orientation/gender identity as protected characteristics.

According to Forum For Equality, an LGBT advocacy group that testified in favor of the bill along with members of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Community Church, 90 percent of transgender people report having experienced discrimination in the workplace, are twice as likely to be unemployed and four times more likely to be living in poverty.

“All hard-working people in our state should have the chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families,” says Colin Miller of Lafayette, FFF’s southern field director. “Nobody should have to live in fear that they can be legally fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance.”

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