Would you be happy to have an openly lesbian, gay, or bisexual manager at work? Do you think someone who is homosexual can change their sexual orientation if they choose to do so? Do you believe it should be illegal to discriminate in hiring based on someone’s sexual orientation?
Tag: homosexuality (Page 1 of 2)
Two men are observationally identical — same education, same years of experience — and yet one earns 16% less than the other. Why? Because the lower income earning man has, at some point in the last five years, had sex with another man. That might sound like evidence of workplace discrimination, but new research argues that gay men are trading off higher salaries in favor of working in more tolerant firms.
“Lesbian break-ups can apparently be bitchier than gay men’s.” wrote columnist Giles Hattersley in the Sunday Times this weekend as he speculated his way through a piece on why 62% of civil union dissolutions (i.e. divorces) in the UK are between women despite the fact that lesbian relationships only represent 44% of civil partnerships in that country.
Prejudice is a difficult concept to measure. One possible way is to ask people the question, “Who would you not like to have as a neighbor?” When the World Values Survey (WVS) asks this question the order of the most popular responses goes like this: drug addicts, heavy drinkers, and homosexuals.
In 2005, 45% of gay, lesbian, or bisexual youth attempted suicide in the US, compared with 8% of heterosexual youth. Some individuals have gone on the record to say that homosexual youths try to kill themselves because they know that what they are doing “is unnatural, is wrong, is immoral.” I wondered what the empirical evidence is for that argument.
Here is a quotable quote from an angry Coptic Orthodox priest in Toronto who this week has threatened to mobilize the removal of 5,000 children from the publicly-funded Catholic School Board: “We don’t want teachers talking about God creating Adam and Steve. It’s Adam and Eve.”
A love story for the 21st century (cue the violins). Several years ago a very close family friend in Vancouver was searching our family name on the Internet and had the good fortune to meet up with the wife of my cousin in South Africa. The two women became friends and eventually fell in love. Divorce (from my cousin) and marriage between them followed (essentially, since marriage laws in South Africa weren’t quite there yet). Canadian immigration law allowed my cousin’s now former wife to enter the country (with my little second cousins) as the wife of our good friend and they have lived (very) happily ever after.
When I was a kid I loved to watch The Flintstones and always laughed at Wilma and Betty’s shopping habits. Whenever they had the chance they were off to their Palaeolithic department store with their battle cry “Charge it!” Before you knew it they were home with boxes filled with saber-toothed tiger coats and fancy shoes (despite the fact that they wore neither). Wilma and Betty were clearly not good savers.
As a Canadian I am baffled by the fact that a country like the US, with its culture of civil rights, has no federal law to prevent men and women working in the private sector from losing their jobs because of their sexual orientation. As an economist, however, the arrangement that some states protect LGBT workers from discrimination, and others do not, provides a natural experiment that helps us understand how these laws affect the working lives of LGBT people by comparing the labor market experiences of similar workers between states. It’s a rare chance to test if anti-discrimination laws actually make a difference.