Subway Restaurants Provide a Lesson in Equal Rights

Many of us hit up fast-food chains on our lunch breaks — perhaps even Subway. But one man’s trip to a Subway in Iceland made a turn for the worse when a Subway employee refused to serve him because the employee thought he was gay. The customer was wearing pink, which was enough to make the employee think he was gay.

It looks a little like this in a math equation: Pink = gay = no service from this Subway employee.

The customer and the group he was with left, outraged over the discriminatory treatment. They took their message to the Subway corporation in Iceland, and in a stroke of solid activism, they got a response. The head of Subway in Iceland apologized, and promptly fired the employee.

The moral of this story? The Subway employee was hired to do a job: to serve the people who come in and order. The job requirements don’t allow employees to only serve the people who they like or agree with. If the employee was unable or unwilling to serve everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, he shouldn’t have taken a job that requires him to do just that.

Everyone has the right to express their lack of support for LGBT people, but personal opinions cannot interfere with their professional work.

The same logic can be applied to employment discrimination. Employees can hold whatever beliefs they wish. But just as they shouldn’t be allowed to let racism affect hiring decisions, homophobia shouldn’t affect hiring and firing either. That’s why it’s imperative that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act pass in order to protect LGBT Americans from employment discrimination.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons