The usual conundrum facing many LGBT people all over the country is if coming out at work will get them fired. They want to be open but fear the possible consequences. My question is the opposite: Should LGBT workers be able to be fired if they are in the closet?
I know that might sound ridiculous, but hear me out before you roll your eyes. The ideal employee is stable, both at work and at home. Arguably, a person in the closet does not have the most stable life due to denial, self-hate, secrecy, etc. Thus, the closeted employee may be more at-risk than someone who is out and comfortable with who they are. Remember, coming out is usually a question of WHEN rather than if. For example, many people argued that Don't Ask, Don't Tell forced gay and lesbian service members to lie to their superiors, going against a strong military policy of honesty. Is being in the closet the same thing as lying? If so, do employers have the right to fire someone not for being gay but for lying about being straight?
Some people may not want to be publicly out because of the type of work they do (i.e. Anderson Cooper), but should employees at least be out to their bosses and/or co-workers? Should we wait until a form of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) gets passed before even thinking about this question?
What do you all think?
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