Thursday, May 19, 2016

Protecting employees where being gay is a crime - NZHERALD

by Laura Colby
Originally published: May 19, 2016

When Air France-KLM resumed regular flights to Iran last month after an eight-year hiatus, gay flight attendants urged Chief Executive Officer Frederic Gagey to let them take a pass, given that homosexuality can get you executed in the Islamic Republic.

"It's inconceivable to force someone to go to a country where his kind are condemned to death for who they are," stated their online petition, signed by almost 30,000 people.

In the US, states and cities have been excoriated for restricting the ability of transgender people to use toilets appropriate to their sexual identity. Duelling lawsuits between North Carolina and the federal Government, and a sharp rise in workplace bias claims, have put lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues centre stage in a way that hasn't been the case since the US Supreme Court legalised gay marriage.

But a broader, global threat to equality persists, and not just for flight attendants. (Air France didn't respond to a request for comment.) LGBT employees of multinational companies must often worry about legalised harassment, imprisonment, or worse.