When Wisconsin voters went to the polls in November of last year to choose a governor, they elected Tony Evers over incumbent Scott Walker. The change in direction was apparent on Evers' first day in office, when he signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ state employees.
His order did not stop there. Evers also directed officials to put standard terms in vendor contracts requiring the state to hire only on the basis of merit. That means that companies getting taxpayer monies cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Evers' executive order was issued on the same day Michigan's new governor, Gretchen Whitmer, signed a nearly identical order. Former Ohio governor John Kasich signed a nondiscrimination order shortly before he recently left office as well.
"The momentum for LGBTQ nondiscrimination is undeniable," said the CEO of Freedom for All Americans. "Governor Evers' executive order is an important step toward ensuring that hardworking LGBTQ people in Wisconsin are judged solely on their job performance, not based on who they are or who they love."
Human Rights Campaign Wisconsin State Director Wendy Strout said, "Governor Evers continues to demonstrate that he will fight day in and day out to uphold the Wisconsin values of fairness, justice and equality."
Strout said HRC Wisconsin looks forward to working with Evers to "to pass legislation that will finally safeguard protections for transgender Wisconsinites, who are still denied basic and explicit protections from discrimination in the workplace, housing and public spaces."
Though Wisconsin was the first state to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, much work remains to be done. If you have been subjected to workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, race or religion, contact the Milwaukee law firm of Alan C. Olson & Associates.