Discrimination comes in many facets. From a very young age, life seems very different. Born in the 1960s civil rights were the fights of many different races, but there was no room for talk of homosexuality. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights did not exist because they were pushed against by legislation and society. During childhood, there is no recollection of the 1969 raid on The Stonewall Inn, a New York Bar, where three drag queens were humiliated and incarcerated because of their sexuality (Begala). In New York, the gay community was facing an uphill battle when riots erupted in the streets, filled with an enraged straight and gay community, who wanted nothing more than equal rights for all.
The past created its own scars. While the present is scabbed yet somewhat healing with hope leaning on the Obama administrations promissory note (Begala). The future, however, remains an open, bleeding wound with the many unknowns that lie ahead. With the present administration, fear has set in the LGBT communities. While the nation holds their breath for President Trump and Mike Pences stance on equal freedoms for all to come clear, through their continual mixed messages, the gay community must brace themselves for another long fought battle to preserve the ground that was laid by our last president. Homosexuals are people who live and love like any other individual. The LGBT community deserves the same rights as anyone else, and they cannot afford to lose their ground in equal marriage and civil rights.
"Dispelling the Myth of God versus Gay | jaymichaelson.net." N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. In this article, the author explains why sexual diversity should be accepted by the religious community and why it does not go against Gods wishes. First, the author mentioned Gods love for variety as manifested by the diversity in his creations. The author also highlighted the struggle gay individuals undergo, such as self-identity crises and fear exposing their sexuality because of fear of rejection. Such struggles drive these people to suicide. According to the author, the Bible and Christians lives are full of contradictions. While the Bible advocates for love, honesty, and diversity, the believers do not uphold these values as shown by their rejection and hatred of part of their humanity. For instance, Christians want the gay to lie about their sexual orientation and to hate themselves. Therefore, religious approach to homosexuality goes against Biblical teachings of love and honesty (Jay Michaelson).
"No room to hate and discriminate | SA News." N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. South Africa is making great strides towards the realization of equality among all people regardless of their sexual orientation. At the forefront towards realizing this goal are South African courts, which have waged war against homophobia, hate crimes and discrimination towards the LGBT community. The courts have also received support from I Serve Equally campaign, whose goal is to educate the public about the challenges faced by the LGBTI community, especially the discrimination and the secondary victimization they face when pursuing justice. The campaigned is based on the premise that all people are equal and, therefore, LGBTI should be respected and accepted by the society because they are human beings too. Additionally, the campaign is aimed at remembering the victims of hate crime in LGBTI community and in strengthening the fight against bias towards this LGBTI by urging government employees (such as the police) to treat LGBTI people equally (SA News).
How Hillary Snagged the Largest LGBT Endorsement - CSMonitor.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. The LGBT choice of Hillary Clinton for the presidency over Sanders is based on the voting history of the later. Their endorsement was also guided by the belief that Donald Trump poses a risk to the gains made in LGBT. Moreover, the LGBT community felt that Clinton has a well laid-out plan needed to sustain and enhance their issues. Even though Sanders has a longer history of fighting for LGBT rights, Clinton was seen by LGBT community as the best candidate because of her comprehensive policy initiatives including the plan to lift the ban on LGBT military service, her plans for correction of military records of officers wrongly dismissed under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, her plan to halt transgender conversion therapy for young people, and her promise of ensuring affordable treatment for individuals with HIV and AIDS. Her endorsement has also been linked to ties to the Human Rights Campaign leadership (CS Monitor).
Stack, Liam. Trump Victory Alarms Gay and Transgender Groups. The New York Times 10 Nov. 2016. NYTimes.com. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. The LGBT community fear that Trumps presidency will reverse the gains made they have so far made. Even though Trump does not have a history of hatred towards the LGBT community, many are of the opinion that he will be driven by the G.O.P agenda in his execution of duties. Specifically, G.O.P policies such as denouncement of same-sex marriage, approval of state laws barring LGBT individuals from using some public bathrooms, and support for transgender conversion therapy for minors are what give the LGBT community sleepless nights. Moreover, Trumps choice of Mike Pence, a well-known anti-LGBT politician, as his running mate has intensified the fear. As a governor of Indiana, Mike Pence denied equality to LGBT individuals, opposed same-sex marriage, and legalized discrimination of LGBT in businesses. Pences support for discrimination of LGBT in employment and support for conversion therapy while in Congress has helped fuelled fear for Trumps presidency (NY Times).
F.D.A. Ends Ban, Allowing Some Blood Donations by Gay Men - The New York Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. With an end of discrimination against gay almost in sight, gays are a happy lot. The three-decades-old ban on blood donation by gay and bisexual men by has finally been lifted by F.D.A, but not entirely. The ban, which was put in place in 1983, was meant to curb the spread of AIDS. The ban was, however, not removed in entirety as men who have had sexual encounters in the past year are still prohibited from donating the blood. LGBT right groups consider the one year window period discriminatory, unnecessary, and not backed by science. Opponents of the one-year delay argue that gays, like heterosexual, exhibit different risks of H.I.V infection hence assessment of risk should be made on individual basis. There exist no clear justification for 12-month deferral period since H.I.V window period is nine days (The New York Times).
California School Lets Students Wear Anti-LGBT Stickers - CSMonitor.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. The school administration and the community if facing a huge dilemma: to support the wearing of anti-gay stickers as a form of free speech or to ban it as a kind of hate speech. After careful consideration, the school administrators and the lawyers allowed the students to wear anti-gay stickers because they have a right to freedom of speech so long as they do not show any form of harassment or bullying towards the LGBT students. However, those opposed to wearing of anti-gay stickers argue that such stickers may make the LGBT students, and staff feel nervous or uncomfortable because they feel they are being targeted (CS Monitor).
"Gay Rights And Religious Liberty: Can Americans Have Both?". The Christian Science Monitor, 2017, http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/0416/Gay-rights-and-religious-liberty-Can-Americans-have-both. There is an emerging conflict concerning religious liberty and same-sex marriage in some U.S. states. Gay couples, who are advocating for full rights and equal treatment in a society which is not ready to accommodate them are currently involved in a conflict with religious conservatives who consider same-sex marriages inappropriate and offensive. Many LGBT people feel that they do not need religious accommodation while the religious community feels that such accommodations will reduce coercion. With the Supreme Court taking up same-sex marriage cases, experts are of the opinion that the Supreme Court needs to provide sober guidance to resolve this conflict. It is expected that Supreme Court decision, in this highly polarizing issue should, should be geared towards providing a middle-ground solution based on tolerance and respect for both parties (The Christian Science Monitor).
Ross, Alex. "Love on the March." The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 03 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. The author and his friend came face-to-face with a student ranting over what he calls an abuse. The student was called a gay by another one. This scenario exemplifies a sharply divided society, one which advocates for same-sex marriage and another which is against. The author reviewed the history of same-sex marriage in the United States and the struggles the LGBT have undergone, such as lack of political representation and open discrimination. Furthermore, the author highlights the achievements the LGBT community has made so far, such as legalization of same-sex marriage in six states and the possibility of opening up about ones sexuality without the fear of being discriminated against. The author credits the societys acceptance of the LGBT individuals to popular cultures, such as Hollywood stars and movies. Lastly, the author examined the rise of gay politics and its subsequent fall (The New Yorker).
Williamson, Kevin D. "The Transgender Culture War." National Review. N.p., 13 June 2016. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. The author examined the paths taken by different forms of sexualities to achieve mainstreaming as well as the role of popular culture in helping realize this goal. Specifically, the author noted that homosexuality took a long time (half a century) to be socially accepted, after its first depiction in the popular culture. Conversely, transgenderism took a shorter path to achieve mainstreaming. The author credits the Supreme Court for the rights currently enjoyed by homosexual individuals. Overall, the author gave various instances in which the popular culture, through movies and songs, helped to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism. In this article, the evolution of the meaning of same-sex marriage from the time it was considered a disorder to its current understanding is also discussed (National Review).
"Dispelling the Myth of God versus Gay | jaymichaelson.net." N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017
"Gay Rights And Religious Liberty: Can Americans Have Both?". The Christian Science Monitor, 2017, http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/0416/Gay-rights-and-religious-liberty-Can-Americans-have-both"
No room to hate and discriminate | SA News." N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
California School Lets Students Wear Anti-LGBT Stickers - CSMonitor.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
F.D.A. Ends Ban, Allowing Some Blood Donations by Gay Men - The New York Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
How Hillary Snagged the Largest LGBT Endorsement - CSMonitor.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
Begala, Paul. Gaga Over Gay: But Will He Deliver? Newsweek, Jan, 2013, SIRS Issues
Ross, Alex. "Love on the March." The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 03 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2017
Stack, Liam. Trump Victory Alarms Gay and Transgender Groups. The New York Times 10 Nov. 2016. NYTimes.com. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
Williamson, Kevin D. "The Transgender Culture War." National Review. N.p., 13 June 2016. Web. 16 Apr. 2017
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