Arkansas pushes for right to fire transgender people

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Facebook photo.

Arkansas makes 15 states attempting to make it legal for employers to fire transgender people.

Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge claimed a funeral home in Michigan was forced to "allow a male employee to dress as a woman despite the funeral home's clear sex-specific dress code."

"I joined a 16-state attorneys general and governors brief supporting Supreme Court review to uphold the rule of law. The multi-state brief explained that 'sex' under the plain, unambiguous meaning of Title VII does not mean anything other than biological status," Rutledge told local news station KARK. “In determining otherwise, the Sixth Circuit rewrote the law in a way that Congress never intended in Title VII." 

According to KARK, members of the Arkansas LGBT community are fighting against this new initiative.

"I would ask Ms. Rutledge what pushed her or compelled her to want to end someone's employment opportunities or make it an option for people to end someone's employment, based on something they can't help," Carmen Gresham told KARK.

Gresham is 22-years-old and works at the only LGBTQ+ homeless shelter in Arkansas, Lucie’s Place.

According to Gresham, she helps young LGBTQ+ adults, similar to herself, find jobs, housing and counseling.

"I really love helping people," she said. "I love meeting them and hearing their stories."

Rutledge and 15 other attorney generals signed a brief making it easier for people such as Gresham to lose their jobs.

"We have to work," Gresham told KARK. "We have to make money. We have to make ends meet and to be denied a safety net so that we can't be employed, it just feels like she wants us, honestly, dead."

 It’s already a challenge for transgender people to receive jobs and Gresham said this push just makes it worse.

"You'll never know if that person was a good employee or not because you denied them that job because of who they are," she said. "We're trying to fight for our right to work, we're trying to fight for our right to use the restroom. I think this is because of a shift in our current political climate that's been happening. Unfortunately, it's only going to get worse before it gets better."

Currently state laws in Arkansas provide no protection to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Information provided by KARK.

The Gayly. 9/6/2018 @ 2:18 p.m. CST.