Jonathan Higbee's picture

Study: Gay Applicants Less Likely To Get Interviews With Federal Contractors

A sobering new study from the Equal Rights Center & Freedom To Work will hopefully light the fire under President Obama's ass (or at least his pen) after he pledged to sign an ENDA for federal contractors without giving a timeframe. The findings, released today, reveal just how desperately the U.S. needs federal workplace protections for LGBT applicants and employees. 

The ERC sent out fictional pairs of resumes to apply for 100 jobs in a study that took place between December 2012 and December 2013. "Each pair of resumes included: one 'LGBT resume,' which listed the applicant’s leadership role in an LGBT organization; and one 'non- LGBT resume,' which listed the applicant’s leadership role in a non-LGBT organization, such as an environmental or women’s rights group," the report states. "The LGBT resume was designed to be stronger in numerous respects. For example, the LGBT resume always had a higher grade point average and stronger work experience than the non-LGBT resume."

Even with more appealing education, experience and skills, LGBT applicants were 23 percent less likely to be called for an interview than their straight counterparts, the ERC reports. 

The below graphic shows how federal contractor Exxon Mobil "showed a repeated preference for the less qualified, non-LGBT candidate," as just one of many examples of discrimination encountered over the year:

"Despite significant progress in advancing civil rights and equality, employment discrimination remains a persistent barrier for the LGBT community," said ERC Executive Director Melvina Ford. "The results of this investigation show that LGBT applicants face discrimination when seeking employment with federal contractors, even when compared with less-qualified candidates."

Even if the president makes good on his pledge to sign an executive order protecting the LGBT community from discrimination in the federal workforce, the rest of us can still be fired for being gay in 29 states (the trans community is at risk in 34). ​And I'm pretty sure that discrimination against applicants perceived to be gay isn't limited to federal contracting jobs. It's anachronistic and unAmerican no matter which sector it pervades. Congress must pass an all-encompassing ENDA. No more waiting.

(h/t: HuffPo)