People in the LGBT community are routinely discriminated against in the workplace environment in many areas of the US, perhaps even more so here in the Midwest.
In the spirit of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, all citizens should be protected equally under the law. In other areas similar laws have done much to protect and put at ease those with varying sexual orientations and gender identity.
They have been shown to do well for business too. In fact, the HRC's Corporate Equality Index this year showed that over 85% of Fortune 500 companies have included sexual orientation, and 50% have included gender identity in their non-discrimination policies. Studies also show that people that are out in the workplace are generally more productive and more at ease with their coworkers as well.
As a transsexual I can personally vouch that it is much less distracting now that I'm out living as myself, rather than trying to live every day hiding who I am. For most people, it is very easy to overlook feeling comfortable in their own body. For transgendered people it is an everyday battle... one that can continue even after beginning the physical transition to help their body match their mind. Transitioning is a stressful, but necessary part of our lives. Many of us are cast out from our families, losing friends and relationships along the way. Without legal protection we have the additional stress of potentially losing our jobs and homes in the process as well!
It is important that we make a push to show that people overwhelmingly support giving equal rights in employment and housing to people in the LGBT community. Especially now as the city council in Springfield is considering the bill, and opponents are getting increasingly loud to try and shut it down.
Ultimately, this is one small step. Hopefully this is successful and can function to inspire similar petitions and movements throughout the country. Ideally, we will all soon have equal protection and treatment under the law here in America. I believe that much like the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s, it will ultimately be a series of small victories that truly brings us together as a nation united.