By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com September 09 2011 8:35 PM ET
The jobs proposal announced by President Obama Thursday may be particularly helpful to transgender Americans, who are “disproportionately likely to be among the long-term unemployed,” says Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Obama’s proposal, outlined in his speech to Congress and the nation, includes tax credits for companies that hire people who have been unemployed for a lengthy period, plus measures to prevent discrimination against the unemployed.
The blog En|Gender carries this statement from Keisling: “The president’s job proposals would be very positive for trans people and LGBT people more generally. Because we are disproportionately likely to be among the long-term unemployed, job credits for employers who hire long-term unemployed and prohibiting discrimination against long-term unemployed will be especially important. … Our community doesn’t talk enough about the long-term unemployed problem. Getting fired isn’t our biggest problem; getting fired and staying unemployed or underemployed is deadly.”
Meanwhile, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, while praising the president’s initiative, added that even in better economic conditions, LGBT people remain vulnerable to discrimination, and reiterated the need for Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
“People — including LGBT people and our families — are hurting in this economy,” notes an NGLTF blog post. “Congress and the president must do all they can to get people back to work, including passing legislation to end job discrimination against LGBT people.”
Whether Congress will approve the president’s plan remains to be seen,
but even Republican leaders have promised swift action on it. ENDA,
however, has languished in Congress for years.