One Equal World

Momentum for the LGBT Community

Posted on: December 31, 2015

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

On a sunny day in June, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. So Obergefell v. Hodges means that gay rights have won and everything is rainbows, right?

Of course not.

Same-sex marriage is and always was only one relatively scuffle. There are much, much bigger fish still to be fried. To name just a few:

Anti-gay violence. There were more than 2000 instances of explicitly anti-LGBT violence in 2012 and have increased every year after that. Gay, bisexual, and trans people are murdered at 2-5 times the rate of straight people, with trans women of color at the top of that horrible list.

Youth homelessness. Nearly half of all homeless youth identify as LGBT, and more than half of those were kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity. Most report a history of abuse from their families, leaving them especially vulnerable to health issues both metal and physical. And being homeless, of course, leaves them at risk of being trafficked or unfairly criminalized.

Health issues. Queer people are less likely than the average population to have health insurance, even now that insurance companies are required to acknowledge same-sex spouses. In addition, trans people are commonly mistreated by doctors and emergency room staff. The Center for American Progress reports more than a dozen health disparities between straight and LGBT adults.

Economic equality. While celebrities outing themselves and LGBT enclaves in wealthy parts of major cities make the public perception of queerness to be all about disposable income, the truth is that employment discrimination, homelessness, and health issues make LGBT people more likely to be low-income than the general population. Children in LGBT households are twice as likely to live in poverty than children in homes with married heterosexual parents. And when queerness intersects with race, of course, those stats dive even further downhill.

Trans issues. Perhaps the biggest matter that needs to be addressed. 80% of trans students report being harassed or made unsafe at school because of their gender expression. 50% report actual violence. White trans women have a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered. For trans women of color, it’s 1 in 8. But the public dialogue about trans women is whether or not they pose a threat in using the women’s bathroom.

Until each of these issues is addressed, there has been no gay victory. All we have so far is a start, the very beginnings of momentum. Don’t let up now.


4 Responses to "Momentum for the LGBT Community"

Arguing about the legality of same sex marriage is patently absurd. The solution is to let churches decide whether or not to acknowledge same sex marriages. Get the government out of it. The state has no legal jurisdiction to deny the right of gay people to marry. Why is there a ban on same sex marriage when traditional marriage would never be devalued?

I have absolutely no problem with same sex marriage. Why people who are not gay in some cases make a big deal about it is absolutely absurd. Gay people can’t help the way that they are, nor should they try to justify the fact that they are the way they are.

I’m right there with you, Jeffrey!

Rachel Crowe, if I had a son who was gay or a daughter who was a lesbian, I would not have any problem with it. What are your views on the issue of same sex marriage?

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