Tuesday, May 20, 2014

LA NOW President's Testimony Before Senate Judiciary A Committee 5/20/2014

My name is Charlotte Klasson, state coordinator for the Louisiana National Organization for Women and I wish to thank you for the brief opportunity to testify in favor of this bill from the perspective of how anti-discrimination laws have benefited the lives of all of the women in your life.
Everyone from your sister, your wife, your daughter or your niece along with countless friends and neighbors are benefactors of anti-discrimination laws. The world has become a more fulfilling place for the women you love now that our laws have opened the doors that allowed them to realize their full potential as members of a society, of this country, that champions fairness and equality for all of our citizens.
Think of the improved health and self-confidence of your daughters and granddaughters who get to participate in sports, of your wives and sisters who work in an environment that respects their contributions and allows them to better their lives because we demand work conditions that we all agree should be free of harassment. This will not happen without strong anti-discrimination laws.
Think of the improved educational opportunities that opened the door to careers and adventures, once only available to men, that your grandmothers sadly could barely dream about. Those are wonderful realities that improved the lives of half of our population and all of you on this committee also have tremendously better lives because of it. This did not happen without strong, well-defined anti-discrimination laws.
Anti-discrimination laws have allowed women the security to become mothers and care-givers while continuing to provide for their families because they are supported both legally and ethically. In addition, the work lives of women and families were improved when we allowed aspects of gender and age discrimination to be challenged and that is the hallmark of country that is trying to quickly right the complicated wrongs that once held women back during our past century.
All citizens want the same opportunities to live fulfilling lives with rewarding work, to be valued as contributors to the success of their families and to live free of fear that who they are, male or female, young or old, will be used against them as they work towards bettering their lives.
Allowing sex discrimination against our citizens diminishes us as humans who have a duty and the capacity to fairness to all of our daughters and granddaughters who will soon be our leaders and soon-to-be legislators. It could not happen without anti-discrimination laws.
Please improve the lives of Louisiana citizens by acknowledging that discrimination by gender, age or other quality is unacceptable. Our success as a state depends upon it. What is that old adage? A rising tide lifts all boats? Help all of our citizens to live better and more equitable lives and everyone in our state is rewarded. To do otherwise is no longer an option. Thank you for your time and attention.

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