Normally a woman entering a federal building to pick up a social security card for her son wouldn't end up in controversy. Unfortunately for Lapriss Gilbert, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, wearing the wrong t-shirt. When she arrived at the government complex sporting a t-shirt with the words “lesbian.com” on the front, a private security officer hired by the Homeland Security Department stopped her and demanded she leave the premises.
The guard, an employee of Paragon Security, cited The Rules and Regulations Governing Conduct on Federal Property to support his claim that he is able to decide which articles of clothing are acceptable and which are not. Unfortunately, the document does not offer such guidance.
According to a witness, the hired guard’s “loud, unreasonable, aggressive and angry approach to the situation almost caused chaos.” Gilbert says of the incident, "As an African-American and a lesbian, I haven't been through one day without facing some sort of discrimination . . . but this is just shocking." The ACLU is looking into the case they call the most blatant discrimination they've seen in a federal office building.