Do "ex-gays" need workplace protections?

OK, this is a little devious.  Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (pfox) has won a minor victory by forcing Disney to include a measure providing employment protections for ex-gays in an upcoming stockholder vote. 

Burbank, CA — The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has directed the Walt Disney Company to accept a shareholder resolution requesting the inclusion of ex-gays in Disney’s sexual orientation policies and corporate diversity programs.  Disney had opposed the ex-gay resolution and asked the SEC for permission to exclude it from stockholder consideration.

“Like many corporations, Disney implements mandatory diversity training for employees that emphasizes gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders, but fails to include ex-gays,” said Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX).  “It is a serious omission both for the ex-gay community and their supporters.”

“Employees who support the ex-gay community are not welcomed to express their views and fear they would be forced to undergo sensitivity training because they support former homosexuals,” said Griggs.  “Ex-gays are forced to remain closeted because they are not protected by diversity policies and are subjected to open disapproval by others in the workplace.  The inclusion of ex-gays will cost Disney nothing to implement and would provide true diversity and respect in the workplace.” 

The resolution cites a recent judicial decision issued by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  In that case, brought by PFOX, the Court ruled that former homosexuals are a protected class that must be recognized under DC’s sexual orientation non-discrimination laws.  The Court held that sexual orientation does not require immutable characteristics.

OK, so aren't ex-gays typically defined as straight? Wouldn't they already be protected because heterosexuality is included in sexual orientation as a protected class? 

This is a sneaky way to allow “supporters” of ex-gays to get around diversity and inclusion policies in the workplace.  I don't think a respectful workplace means you can't support someone who identifies as ex-gay.  It just means you can't try to recruit more folks to the ex-gay lifestyle (ha!). 

I haven't look at the ruling itself, but I'm curious if its creating another kind of sexual orientation by defining ex-gay as a protected class under that definition … which would suggest that there is more than one in the first place.  I think.  Hmmm.


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