- Jul 11, 2003
This is why we need LGBT people as a protected class.
http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/10/30/3717515/missouri-discrimination-ruling/Just this week, House Republicans blocked an attempt by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) to advance the Equality Act, which would create nationwide LGBT nondiscrimination protections. A Missouri appeals court decision this week demonstrates exactly why such legislation is necessary.
In a 2-1 decision Tuesday, the Western District Missouri Court of Appeals ruled against James Pittman, who had sued Cook Paper Recycling Corp. for discriminating against him for being gay. Though the direct harassment and overall hostile environment was well documented in the case, the court could offer Pittman no relief. “Because the Missouri Human Rights Act does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” the majority wrote, “we affirm the circuit court’s judgment dismissing Pittman’s petition for failure to state a claim.”
While working for Cook Paper, Pittman was told that he was a “********er” and subjected to other comments of a sexual nature. He was asked if he had AIDS. He was harassed for having a same-sex partner, and was mocked when that relationship ended. The workplace was, as Pittman described it, “an objectively hostile and abusive environment.” Cook Paper ultimately fired him.