Lawmaker pushes for LGBT equality in the workplace

Lawmaker pushes for LGBT equality in the workplace

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In the state of Texas it is perfectly legal to fire someone because they're gay. So says one Texas lawmaker who's trying to change that.

"It is really rough," said Lisa Scheps. She says she is the victim of discrimination.

"People are saying you are not good enough to work in our business," said Scheps.

Scheps is transgendered and was part owner of a company until her business partners found out she wanted a sex change.

"So one of them looked at me and said how are you going to manage our company when all you're really going to be concerned about is nail polish," said Scheps.

"80 percent of people think it's already against the law to fire someone just because they're gay and they don't realize that it is currently legal and it does happen," said Chuck Smith, Executive Director of Equality Texas.

Smith says discrimination in the workplace is common for the gay, lesbian, and transgendered community.

"Most of the calls that we get related to that tend to be in smaller cities or towns," said Smith.

Both smith and Scheps are working with lawmakers to change the laws on the books.

House Bill 238 would simply add sexual orientation to a law that already prohibits discrimination based age, gender and religion.

"I think it's the right thing," said Representative Mike Villarreal, of San Antonio. He is hoping more lawmakers in Texas will agree with him, as he authored HB 238.

"To be judged not based on how productive they are or how well they do their job is really not in keeping with the values of Texas," Villarreal said.

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