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 that stated, until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well (Begala). The future, however, remains an open, bleeding wound with the many unknowns that lie ahead. The LGBT community deserves the same rights as anyone else and they cannot afford to lose their ground in equal marriage and civil rights and can be achieved through various strategies.
The presence of pro-LGBT politicians may assist in the promotion of civil rights among the LGBT community. Members of the community are entitled to similar rights as every person and hence the ability to exercise their sexual orientation as they deem fit. With the present administration, fear has set in for the LGBT communities. While the nation holds their breath for Stack in the article Trump Victory Alarms Gay and Transgender Groups presents the view that Trumps presidency has caused fear among the LGBT community with the perception that it will limit the benefits that the LGBT community has enjoyed over the past few years (Stack). The fear is triggered with Trumps nature of being unpredictable when signing policies by which the LGBT community perceives that he may approve all laws that ban the LGBT community from accessing public bathrooms, denouncing same-sex marriage and giving support to transgender conversion therapy that is provided to minors (Stack). As stated earlier, the selection of Mike Pence as the presidents running mate has also brought fear among the community. Mike Pence was against equality for the LGBT community and same-sex marriages while he was Indianas governor. He even passed a policy that made it legal for employers to discriminate against workers from the LGBT community (Stack). His support for the conversion therapy and the discrimination of individuals from the community in business premises in Congress has sparked more fear in the community (Stack). 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 view is that political leaders play a crucial role when it comes to shaping polices regarding the rights of individuals. The presence of leaders such as Spence makes it difficult for individuals from the LGBT community to exercise their rights and make them live in constant fear of what might happen to them. According to the monitor, Hillary was the presidential choice for individuals from the LGBT community as her result of her policy initiatives that seemed to favor the community (CS Monitor). Some of the initiatives include; lifting the ban in the military regarding service from individuals from the LGBT community, correcting the military records for the officers relived from their services due to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" directive, ensuring that individuals with HIV/AIDS received adequate treatment and banning the transgender conversion therapy for the minors (CS Monitor). In other words, it would be significant to select leaders who are pro-LGBT to ensure that the civil rights of the LGBT community are promoted.
Resolving the differences between religion and views on same-sex marriages may assist in promoting the civil rights of the LGBT community. It is often perceived that religion condones the civil rights of the LGBT community. Religion contains conservatives who are quite rigid when it comes to accepting the rights of gay people. Michealson presents the view that despite most religious individuals condoning the presence of same-sex marriages, God can be perceived as diverse such that he does not condemn individuals from the LGBT community (Michealson). In the article, Dispelling the Myth of God versus Gay, he explains that sexual diversity should be allowed in the religious construct and that it does not oppose the wishes of God. He presents the view that the diversity present in Gods creation illustrates his diverse nature and hence the need for accepting individuals from the LGBT community. If the religious community exhibited love to individuals who are homosexual, then the challenges that they go through such as fear of expressing their sexuality, crises regarding self-identity, and rejection should not take place in the churches (Michealson). Michealson explains that the lives of Christians and the Bible exhibit distinctive contradictions (Michealson). He explains that the Bible talks about the need for love, appreciating others regardless of the differences, and honesty, the spite, and the rejection showed by Christians when it comes to individuals from the LGBT community indicates that they do not abide by these values (Michealson). In other words, if religion took into perspective the issues of love and appreciating others regardless of the differences, the people from the LGBT community would find comfort and live freely without feeling intimidated or in fear of what other people might do to them. The civil rights of the community may be promoted when the religious community takes them in instead of rejecting them.
The judicial system and the government agencies may play a significant role in the promotion of civil rights of the LGBT community. The article Gay Rights And Religious Liberty: Can Americans Have Both?". The Christian Science Monitor also highlights the role of religion when it comes to promoting the civil rights of individuals from the LGBT community (The Christian Science Monitor). It put into perspective the involvement of the judicial system in ensuring that individuals from the LGBT community are treated with respect and dignity. Conflict seems to exist between gay marriages and religious liberty in several states in the U.S. The conflict arises between religious conformists who view same-sex marriages as abominations and inappropriate and the gay partners who advocate for receiving complete rights and adequate treatment in a society that is not reluctant in accepting them (The Christian Science Monitor). Most of the individuals from the LGBT community feel that they do not require to be part of the religious community while some individuals in the religious community feel that if they LGBT community were accommodated, coercion would decrease. Law experts perceive that the Supreme Court needs to offer adequate guidance on the conflict since it takes up plenty of cases regarding gay marriages. The guidance, in this case, should ensure that the needs of both parties are met such that they develop respect for each other (The Christian Science Monitor). In other words, the judicial system may help promote the civil rights of the LGBT if they resolved the conflict between the two opposing forces. A good example is a situation in South Africa whereby the judicial system and certain agencies have assisted in promoting the rights of the community.
According to the article, "No room to hate and discriminate, South Africa has made significant steps in the promotion of equality among every person regardless of the sexual orientation (SA News). Through the South African courts, the country has been able to curb opposition concerning spite crimes, homophobia in addition to discrimination of gay individuals. The support from campaigns such as the I Serve Equally campaign, has enabled courts in South Africa to get rid of violence and discrimination that people from the LGBT community were exposed to. According to the campaign, people are equal, and hence respect and love should be accorded to people from the LGBT community (SA News). Educating the public on the need for respecting people from the LGBT community might also assist in promoting their civil rights. Williamson highlights the role that the Supreme Court in the U.S. has played in ensuring that same-sex marriages are acceptable in addition to protecting individuals from discrimination (Williamson). In other words, the presence of strict laws may assist in stopping discrimination against individuals from the LGBT community in addition to promoting their rights.
There is also need to strike a good balance between freedom of expression and the need for tolerance when it comes to promoting the rights of people from the LGBT community. It is quite evident that some people are still struggling with accepting people with different sexual orientations. A good example is a situation in a school in California where some students put on anti-gay stickers (CS Monitor). In as much as it is allowed for people to express how they feel on an issue, it is important to consider other peoples feelings and try to empathize with their situation before engaging in protest. Nonetheless, the fight for equality is still in process since some areas do not fully embrace the participation of homosexuals. A good example is a ban that existed in the F.D.A. that prevented gay men from donating blood. The ban was later removed after a period of thirty years. However, some bodies of the F.D.A. are still reluctant in allowing gay donors (The New York Times). Ross highlights the achievements of the LGBT community that include the legalization of same-sex marriages and giving people the courage to express their sexual orientation. He credits the film industry for embracing sexual fluidity that is present in the society (Ross).
As stated earlier, The LGBT community deserves the same rights as anyone else and they cannot afford to lose their ground in equal marriage and civil rights and can be achieved through various strategies. Some of them include; having pro-LGBT leaders, resolving the differences between religion and views on same-sex marriages, striking a good balance between freedom of expression and the need for tolerance, and having a judicial system that protects individuals from the LGBT community. Individuals from the LGBT community deserve protection and care similarly to any person.
Begala, Paul. Gaga Over Gay: But Will He Deliver? Newsweek, Jan, 2013, SIRS Issues
"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.
Ross, Alex. "Love on the March." The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 03 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2017
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