After Carl had been with the firm about a year he cornered me. I'd always told him the truth and had been one of the partners who voted to hire him. He had learned a lot about the firm's history, including the number of disasterous hires who were gay. "How could you hire me, with all the problems they had?" I should have thought before I answered, but I think "But what did their being gay have to do with their problems?" kind of answered his question for him.
Of course Carl turned out to be probably the best employee we had ever hired. He finally moved on to a better firm, but I'd recommend (or hire him) today.
There are a lot of characteristics about people that have meanings, in different areas. It is easy to look at our own problems and forget those of others, or to define people by characteristics that have no meaning as to who they are in the context you meet them. At times society overcomes those lines (what professional sports team cares about the race of a player now), at times we seemed to be mired by them.