Make every person a protected class

From: Ken Chandler


Recent articles and letters discuss the pros and cons of the need to designate LGBT as a protected class. Letters cite opposite scenarios. Cummins et al. endorse the need for an LGBT protected class to hire the “best and most qualified” people. They encourage the government to enact LGBT protected class status to prevent discrimination.

Some interpret the statement insinuates the LGBT pool is the only pool where the best and most qualified employees exist. It seems the best and most qualified employees exist in the populace as a whole. Cummins et al. seem successful without resorting to any protected class. One might wonder why the need now. Before I’m accused of discrimination, know that over my 23 years with Cummins I developed many friendships with both straight and LGBT employees. I served on the committee that implemented domestic partnership benefits. As I remember, we were never informed of discrimination.

Possible scenarios could result from the LGBT protected class implementation. Straight people may feel discrimination because they perceive that Cummins et al. do not deem them part of the best and most qualified. Should straights demand to be a protected class? They may believe they are part of the best and most qualified but that LGBT people have priority.

Assume a company wants to project a clean-cut image. They won’t hire anyone with tattoos because they don’t want to project that image to customers. Should the tattooed group demand to be a protected class? What if the tattooed person is an LGBT? Should the tattooed LGBT group demand to be a protected class? Assume the company won’t hire anyone who cusses. Should the cussers demand to be a protected class?

Recently a young lady sued to join the Boy Scouts. Should young ladies or even young boys (for Girl Scouts) demand to be a protected class? Some restaurants won’t serve patrons who lack foot coverings. Should barefoot people demand to be a protected class so they can be served?

Could pro-life people be a protected class to represent babies not yet born? Those babies face discrimination because the Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood and pro-choice advocates have deemed the babies have no right to life and thus should be killed. Those babies, if allowed to live, possibly could become among the best and most qualified employees.

I could propose many similar scenarios. Some will say these scenarios are ridiculous. Maybe, but methinks it’s where we as a society could be headed. What a tangled web we could weave. Some may say I’ve lost my mind. Guilty! That happened long ago.

In the end, maybe each person should be a protected class. Wait, that sounds much like the days when each individual sold themselves to the job market on their own merits and companies hired accordingly.

Whether you take this letter seriously, tongue-in-cheek or ridiculous, I hope you enjoyed reading about other perspectives and their possible ramifications. Happy and prosperous new year. Blessings to all.