One Equal World

Despite Progress, LGBT Rights Have a Long Way to Go

Posted on: November 26, 2013


1980s cassette tape

LGBT rights have come a long way since 1985, but there’s still much progress to be made.
Image: Shutterstock

In the past few years, we have seen social attitudes about LGBT people change on a scale never before witnessed. Suddenly, people aren’t afraid to speak up and fight for rights they really shouldn’t even have to fight for. We are, unquestionably, on the right track—but despite progress, our work on LGBT rights is far from over.

Look back to 1985, and you would have witnessed a world where LGBT people couldn’t serve openly in the military. They weren’t protected by hate crime legislation (remember Matthew Shepard?). Having sex with someone of the same gender could be criminalized. LGBTs couldn’t get married—in any state.

Transgender children and youth could legally have a gender forced upon them—even if it didn’t correspond with their gender identity, and transgenderism was officially identified as a mental disorder. Hospital visitation rights for same-sex partners didn’t exist. And coming out as an LGBT celebrity was usually a career-ender.

Today, we live in a world where many of those wrongs have been righted by law. Let’s celebrate those victories, but at the same time, let’s remember the victories that are yet to be had. Someday, let’s get all fifty states to recognize same-sex marriages. Let’s make sure LGBT people can’t be fired or denied services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Let’s recognize the fact that LGBT couples have just as much of a right to be parents as anyone else, and allow same-sex adoption in every state. Let’s break down the social stigma and allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Let’s keep pushing for change, because that’s the kind of world we should live in someday.


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