After Susan Duty realized LGBT workers in Texas could legally be discriminated against in employment because of who they are, she started looking into what she could do locally in Waco.
“It means something to me,” she said, adding that she has a gay brother and gay friends. “I wanted to do something about it.”
Duty, a straight ally, attended an Equality Texas event a few months ago, learning that the state doesn’t offer protections against anti-LGBT job discrimination. Legislation has been filed for the current legislative session to add the statewide protections.
“When I found out that it was legal to discriminate against LGBT people in employment, I was like, that’s ridiculous,” Duty said. “We can’t change it in the state, but we can change it in our city. We can change it in our community.”
Duty then began her research on how to add the employment protections to the city of Waco’s nondiscrimination policy. She and a friend drafted a letter requesting that the city’s Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee recommend the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity to City Council. The policy currently protects employees based on race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age and disability.
The letter will be read to the six-member committee Thursday, Jan. 24, and members will vote whether or not to recommend it to the City Council, which is comprised of five members and the mayor.