In Kentucky, You Can Be Fired for Being Gay—But Kim Davis Still Has Her Job
Kentucky is one of 28 states that doesn’t prohibit LGBT employment discrimination. Yet.
Image via YouTube
Over the past month, after Kim Davis announced that she wouldn’t issue same-sex marriage licenses, and then violently appropriated a Survivor song, the Internet wondered: “How does this lady still have a job?” It was strange, for many, to see a woman who openly wouldn’t perform parts of her job continue to receive a state-funded salary. It was stranger, for others, to see such audience enthusiasm, and well-known public figures come to her unnecessary rescue. But it was mind-boggling for most of us to imagine that a woman like Kim Davis, who refused to do her job, could still hold onto it—especially in a state where it is legally acceptable to fire someone for being gay.
It’s a painful irony in a story that has so many. As Newsweek reports, it would be next-to-impossible to fire Davis because she’s an elected official. And because the state legislature is her defacto supervisor, terminating her would require a special session of the General Assembly. Given the size of her fan base both inside and outside the state, her exodus is unlikely. Now that her office has started to issue same-sex marriage licenses (even without her signature), her continued employment, despite her continued noncompliance, is all-but-ensured.
Image via Reddit
Compared this to someone who lives in Kentucky, identifies as gay, and works a normal, boring job. As it now stands, the state, along with 28 other states, currently offers no legal workplace protections for LGBT people. Only 22 states prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and 19 on the basis of gender identity. While Kim Davis was busy collecting her $80,000 salary, all while not performing her job, a regular employee could’ve shown up to work, done all her work—done, in fact, a phenomenal job—and gotten fired, just by saying she was gay.
Tell us, again, how Kim Davis is being persecuted?
While the situation feels dire, LGBTQ advocates have been aggressively pursuing federal anti-discrimination laws for over a decade. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently came out with a (non-binding) ruling prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. #Love may not have totally won, but it’s #winning, state by state and meme by meme.