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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 116 / 161

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asserts that the likely outcome of this process is the creation of a set of principles incorporating justice as fairness (Anderson, 2002).

Extrapolating these concepts into the results of this inquiry, Rawls’ veil of ignorance is only a hypothetical veil and true members of society cannot fully ignore societal perceptions, stereotypes, negative descriptors, and labels of gay men and lesbians. And because gay men and lesbians represent a segment of society that has traditionally been oppressed, policies that extend workplace protection from discrimination to gay men and lesbians become mandatory protection clauses which create equality within the work environment.

The analysis conducted revealed that the vast majority of the sample (78%) supported a nondiscrimination policy in the workplace that would protect gay men and lesbians. Yet review of the employment data from the Human Rights Campaign (2003) highlighted only one healthcare organization that specifically protected gay and lesbian employees. The social justice principles of John Rawls might declare such lack of protection discriminatory and unjust.

In addition, federal and Florida State laws do not mandate employers to legally protect gay men and lesbians from discrimination in the workplace. Thus, without a protective veil to remove the negative societal perceptions and labels associated with homosexuality, workplaces become environments where gay and lesbian workers can legally be fired, refused promotion regardless of service, or be paid less compared to

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