Questions answered about Bibb County LGBT anti-discrimination policy

Attorney explains LGBT hiring discrimination

On Tuesday, we reported that next week Bibb County commissioners are scheduled to vote on a change to the county charter to say Bibb will not discriminate in hiring gay or transgender people.

That story got a lot of you talking. Nicole Butler went to speak with an employment lawyer to answer your questions.

Bibb County's charter currently says they cannot discriminate in hiring or promoting based on sex, race, religion, national origin, age, or political affiliation.

The county plans to add four words: sexual orientation and gender identity.

Viewers had question and comments on the plan.

Mark Quackenbush said, "You're either male or female and it is already illegal to discriminate due to gender. Male or female is 100 percent of the population, so what more are you talking about?"

"You can't be discriminated against because you're a woman. Gender identity discrimination would be you couldn't be discriminated against because although you are a woman, but you identify yourself as a man," Macon employment attorney, Charles Cox replies.

Cox says the change would cover a gap between federal or state discrimination laws. 

A Macon pastor Tim McCoy on Tuesday told the county commission that there may be "unintended consequences from this law."

"That it will teach that the Judeo-Christian worldview is not only false but discriminatory," McCoy says.

Lynne Redmond agrees saying, "My God and his word says he created woman for man."

But Cox says Biblical issues belong in churches, not the government, and that this proposal has nothing to do with religion.

"It doesn't affirm or deny any religious teachings. All it says is that the government, when it makes decisions, will not consider someone's orientation or gender identity," Cox says.

Jenn Woods supports the ordinance, but isn't sure why sexual orientation would even come up, saying, "How will someone know if you are gay by an interview?"

Cox says the goal is protect those people.

"But if somebody does know you're gay or lesbian, that is not a basis to discriminate against someone. The employment decision should be based on the person's ability to do the job and their qualifications," he says.

Cox says he hopes this ordinance passes, saying it would put Macon-Bibb County in the forefront of fighting discrimination in the workplace.

The ordinance still needs approval from the full commission at next Tuesday's meeting.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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