The Importance of Standing Up for LGBTQ+ Rights Year Round

Vibrant photo of two hands holding an LGBTQ+ rights sign against a yellow background.

The legal rights of the LGBTQ+ community are being challenged every day across the country including right here in San Diego. Haeggquist & Eck are in the process of filing a case against the Grossmont Union High School District for banning resources, banning books, and terminating contracts of LGBTQ+ members despite them working for the district for decades. Grossmont Union High School District school board members have been actively and publicly condemning the LGBTQ+ community declaring they don’t reflect their “East County Values.” At HAE, we are committed to fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and employees.

In recent months, the fight for LGBTQ+ rights has faced significant challenges, particularly with the blocking of a Title IX rule intended to protect LGBTQ+ students in some states. This rule was designed to ensure that students are not discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all. Unfortunately, these judicial blocks threaten the well-being and educational opportunities of LGBTQ+ students, highlighting the urgent need for advocacy and action.

Adding to this concern, there has been a surge of anti-trans legislation proposed or recently passed across the country. In 2024, a total of 604 anti-trans bills have been introduced in 43 states. Forty-two have passed, 221 bills have failed, and 341 are still active. These laws often aim to restrict access to education, legal recognition, gender-affirming healthcare, limit participation in sports, and undermine the rights of transgender individuals to live authentically. Such legislation not only infringes on the fundamental rights of transgender people but also perpetuates stigma and discrimination.1

FREE CASE EVALUATION

The Statistics on Violence Against the LGBTQ+ Community are Alarming

LGBTQ+ individuals face four times the rate of violence compared to cisgender counterparts. In the workplace, 37% of LGBTQ+ employees reported experiencing at least one form of harassment at work because of their sexual orientation or gender identity at some point in their lives. Additionally, the rates of harassment significantly increase for transgender individuals and LGBTQ+ people of color.2

These sobering facts underscore the critical importance of standing up for LGBTQ+ rights, regardless of one’s status or identity.

How Haeggquist & Eck (HAE) Advocates for the LGBTQ+ Community:

A young group of LGBTQ+ community members holding hands outdoors, demonstrating support, equality, inclusion, and unity. Young activists celebrating.

· HAE fights for the rights of LGBTQ+ employees who have experienced harassment and discrimination.

· HAE provides a free Know Your Rights webinar for the LGBTQ+ community.

· HAE proactively recruits people from the LGBTQ+ community. We believe that people from historically marginalized communities have a special insight into the experiences and oppression that our clients have faced in their workplaces.

· HAE employees volunteer their time to LGBTQ+-centered organizations such as the San Diego Pride Survivor Task Force and She Fest.

· HAE sponsors and donates to LGBTQ+-centered organizations annually such as the Tom Homann Legal Association and San Diego Pride.

· HAE donates to organizations that serve LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities such as Your Safe Place and Think Dignity.

· HAE follows proposed legislation, informs the public, and writes letters supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

· HAE publishes blogs and posts with information for the LGBTQ+ community regarding their rights.

· HAE marches in the annual San Diego Pride Parade.

· HAE has quarterly training for their employees on unconscious bias, cultural humility, intersectionality, and providing trauma-informed services.

· HAE listens to LGBTQ+ leaders and organizations to understand the issues they are facing and how they wish to be supported and advocated for.

Our unwavering commitment aims to foster equality, celebrate diversity, and support the LGBTQ+ community in every possible way.

“No pride for some of us, without liberation for all of us.” Marsha P. Johnson

If you have experienced harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, there are federal and state laws that protect your rights.

In California, several laws protect LGBTQ+ employees, ensuring their right to work in a safe and inclusive environment. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The Unruh Civil Rights Act prohibits arbitrary discrimination in public accommodations and business establishments. The Ralph Civil Rights Act prohibits violence or threats against a person due to sexual orientation, gender identity, and other protected characteristics. Employees also have protections under federal law known as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Examples of LGBTQ+ Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace

LGBTQ+ Law and Gay Marriage. Judge's gavel on rainbow flag. Banner with copy space for transgender rights.

· Refusing to hire

· Denying promotions

· Unequal pay

· Targeted harassment

· Failure to address anti-LGBTQ+ harassment that creates a hostile work environment

· Refusing bathroom access

· Intentionally misgendering

· Denying health benefits

· Wrongful termination

If you have experienced harassment or discrimination in the workplace based on your sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, give Haeggquist & Eck a call for a free no-obligation case evaluation. When you’re ready to stand up, we will stand with you.

Sources:

1) Trans Legislation Tracker

2) UCLA School of Law Williams Institute

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