Saturday, February 7, 2015

Defying Koch-Sucking Governor, Wisconsin Town Charges Left

As an atheist in Kentucky, I have no discrimination protections. I can be fired from my job, denied a mortgage or car loan, barred from renting an apartment, thrown out of a restaurant or hotel or gym or public park. I could be turned away from the voting booth.
That I am not is primarily due to a carefully created and maintained reputation as a nasty troublemaker, not to anyone's respect for my atheism.
There is no shortage of hardships that many homeless people regularly encounter, from the apparent — crushing poverty and mental illness — to the more subtle — navigating bureaucracy and finding a public restroom.

But homeless people in Madison, Wisconsin may soon have new legal protections against one of the most nefarious problems: discrimination.

On Tuesday, the Madison Equal Opportunities Commission will consider whether to add homelessness and atheism to its list of protected classes, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
If the measure, proposed by Alderwoman Anita Weier, is adopted, it would protect both homeless people and atheists against discrimination in employment and housing. If an individual or business is found to be discriminating against homeless people or atheists, Weier’s bill would impose a fine and restitution.

Discrimination against homeless job applicants is particularly pervasive, preventing many from breaking out of a cycle of poverty. For instance, though homeless individuals can use the address of a shelter on their resume, some employers are on the lookout for these addresses and avoid such people. Even setting aside discrimination based solely on their status as homeless, such individuals often have major employment gaps on their resume or a felony on their record, severely diminishing their employment prospects. Similar factors prevent many individuals from securing housing.

Notably, though, Weier’s bill only extends protections against discrimination in public areas and places of business to atheists, not homeless individuals. According to the State Journal, Weier opted against extending protections for homeless people because of incidents that have taken place in public buildings, such as urinating or defecating in public.
Hey, Ky House Speaker Greg Stumbo:  Are you sick and tired of all those freakazoid, Koch-sucking, teabagger bills flying out of the repug Senate just to make dems crazy?  Fight fire with fire: Send  the repugs some bills that will make their tiny heads explode. Mandating abortion on demand at public expense.  Outlawing charter schools. Barring all voting restrictions.

Start with one extending civil and human rights to homeless people and atheists.

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