Exploring the Biggest Gay Rights Milestones in History

Since time has been recorded, there has been mention of gay and lesbian people. While there has been an ebb and flow in various societies, with acceptance falling in and out of acceptance, the history of the United States consists mostly of rejection of these members of society. However, that has changed, starting in the last century and really taking off today. Now, you can look back and see tremendous milestones that have been achieved in the LGBT acceptance movement.

Just a few decades ago, it was scandalous to be lesbian or gay. Movie and television stars went to great lengths to hide their orientation, as did everyday folks who couldn’t afford the privacy afforded to these members of society who often hid in the shadows with their partners. When news did break, it often meant the end of careers. However, that is no longer the case.

In fact, when celebrities come out today, it makes for a quick news story before the tabloids move on to something juicier. It is incredible to consider that less than two decades have passed since Ellen DeGeneres lost her half hour comedy show when the network found out she was a lesbian. Today, she is one of the most celebrated members of the LGBT community and Hollywood circles alike.

There have been many achievements in these years, including legal changes that have made hate crimes illegal in many parts of the nation. While these were once categorized as equivalent to a barroom brawl, that is no longer the case. Today, someone convicted of a hate crime will serve serious felony time for their actions.

For couples who longed to be wed but could not due to the laws in this country, gender is no longer an issue. While it began with several states legalizing same sex marriage, today the federal government has recognized the rights of these couples, including being able to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner and sharing insurance plans just as opposite sex married couples can do.

Gay pride parades are in most major cities across the nation, helping participants to celebrate in who they are with others who want to embrace the freedom the event affords. With increasing awareness and acceptance, LGBT people in sports, society is undergoing a change for the better in terms of accepting people for who they are, including the LGBT community.

And then there was Oprah:

Why Gay Rights Are So Horrible In Russia

With all of the recent news, many people have been wondering why there are so many problems with gay rights in Russia. The easiest answer comes down to culture, but there are also religious and government aspects as well. In addition, what rights someone gets are actually dependent on where they are living in Russia, and not on the national government as a whole. It is, however, illegal to participate in gay sexual activity in most of Russia, some areas just don’t prosecute it to the same level as others.

Being gay in Russia has a long history, but so does persecution of gay people as well. Russia is home to both fundamentalist Muslim communities, as well as fundamentalist Christian communities as well. The severe weather int eh country and the isolation of different areas made it very easy for different moral absolutes to pop up depending on where you lived in the country. These absolutes have not changed in the last 1000 years, and the soviet government was not interested in changing them, only in changing the way that labor worked. This means that entire generations have grown up exactly the same way that their parents, grandparents, and so on grew up.

In addition, Russian culture has always been influenced by a lack of resources and a need to live off of the land. This means that people who act outside of the norm and who appear to not be working towards a better life for the entire village or group are going to be shunned or made to feel bad about themselves. This explains why, even in bigger cities, things like gay pride parades and clubs are seen as a negative thing.

In addition, rural areas, such as Chechnya, have extremely fundamentalist governments. These governments actually work off of religious ideals, and these ideals hold that being gay is a sin. This is why there have been so many state sanctioned murders of gay men in the last few years. The people in these areas are actually viewing it as a cleansing of their area, allowing people who are on the right side of these religions to continue on with their lives, without being surrounded by this supposed sin.

Until Russia starts governing itself as a single entity and takes the plight of everyone in their society seriously, the outlook on gay rights in Russia is extremely grim.

How To Learn More About Gender Issues

 

People who don’t fit the traditional gender norms of male and female face many issues. While transgender and LGBTQ people have become much more visible in society, they still face plenty of stigmas and it can even be dangerous being trans or genderqueer in some communities. One of the best ways to learn more about gender issues is to read about them through books.

Transgender people face discrimination and stigma in society. One of the worst problems is the lack of legal protection. Transgender people are not included in discrimination protections. Trans and genderqueer people can still be denied jobs and housing just based on how they look or what their lifestyle is. They also face discrimination when it comes to using public restrooms. Transgender children can even be discriminated against in school.

Transgender people also face unemployment. Many transgender people live in poverty because they are discriminated against and transgender people of color have it even worse. Some trans people become sex workers or part of the underground economy because they cannot get decent jobs.

When you start to read books about gender you will learn that transgender people are subject to harassment every day. They are harassed on the street and even characterized as predators. People make fun of transgender people and they are even often rejected by their families. Transgender people have to go through a lot in society and they get bullied and sometimes even murdered.

Each year, transgender people get murdered and it is hard for them to get justice because they are often harassed and ridiculed by the police. In fact, some transgender people face beatings and sexual assault by police officers and they are not treated like other people. Many transgender people are very hesitant to use the police because they don’t know how they will be treated.

Books also state that transgender people face discrimination when it comes to healthcare. Some people are refused care because the hospitals just don’t want to treat them. Another big problem in the transgender community is that it can be hard for transgender people to get the proper identity documents that match their gender. When transgender people don’t have the right documents, they can be denied access to healthcare, education, and services that they desperately need. You can learn about the different issues that transgender people face when you read books on the issue.

A Quick Primer On International Gay Marriage

What Countries Allow Gay Marriage?

Same-sex marriage was first legalized in the Netherlands in 2001. In only sixteen years following, a lot of countries have followed suit. Belgium followed suit in 2003. It was another two years before Canada and Spain legalized same-sex marriage. As society and various government start to place more value on family status and LGBT rights, we have seen a rapid ascent to progress, and opened the conversation across nations in a ripple effect.

By 2009, Norway, Sweden, and South Africa had also follow in the steps of progress. 2010 made huge strides, seeing three countries legalize the practice: Portugal, Iceland, and Argentina. 2012 brought legal same-sex marriage to Denmark, and Brazil, France and New Zealand joined only a year later. During this decade, the United States had been having heated debates about legalizing same-sex marriage. Many states had legalized the practice, only to have marriages dissolved by propositions or ignored by the federal government. Finally, in 2015 the United States joined in legalizing gay marriage. Luxembourg and Ireland also legalized the practice, despite Ireland’s heavily conservative laws. Since 2015, three more countries have also legalized same-sex marriage. Finland, Germany, and Colombia all now recognize gay and lesbian couples.

What Does The Future Hold?

In only seventeen years, twenty countries have legalized gay marriage! Malta and Taiwan may well be legalizing gay marriage in the foreseeable future as well. In fact, Taiwan is set to legally recognize same-sex couples before May of 2019. The conversations continuing to happen around the globe are creating a better environment for gay and lesbian people by increasing acceptance and visibility. Marriage is not only important for social conventions, but it bears significant religious and cultural ties. Gay and lesbian people being included in their community traditions is important towards creating egalitarian societies. Furthermore, gay and lesbian married couples can adopt, benefit from tax breaks, and otherwise enjoy the perks of everyday society like anybody else.
It looks like the conversation will not slow down anytime soon. It’s important to note how quickly steam picked up once the Netherlands legalized gay marriage. All it takes is a single action for a butterfly effect to occur. There is something truly amazing how all it takes is one person to come forward and do the right thing, for other people to work up the courage, or to even start to recognize the plight of the oppressed to begin with. Hopefully, the coming years will bring yet more positive change.

The Most Important LGBTQ Legislation

While human rights legislation with regards to LGBTQ discrimination seems to be moving in the right direction, there is one glaring violation that seems to simply have been swept under the carpet. While same sex marriages have been legalized and the criminal aspect removed from legislation, discrimination in the work place is still a huge issue that needs to be addressed.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act which calls for abolishing discrimination related to sexual orientation in the work place was first defeated by a 7-3 vote by the House Rules Committee. Even though the Act has since been passed by Senate, it still has not been implemented.

This means that employers can still terminate employment due to sexual orientation in 29 states in the United States. In another 19 states, termination of employment can be legally implemented due to sexual identity.

But it isn’t just termination that is the problem with LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace. LGBTQ employees often receive lower compensation for their work, are overlooked for promotions and have no legal standing with regards to harassment or mistreatment in the workplace. The figures for reported cases rise for African American LGBTQ groups as well as for those who are transgender.

Countless human rights and other organizations have been working for a number of years to create the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and it is disheartening that although it has been passed, so little has been done to implement the legislation.

Over and above this, there is still no federal protection for rights discrimination against LGBTQ persons in the workplace. The LGBTQ community simply has no recourse when it comes to infringement of their human rights in the same way heterosexual people do in the workplace.

However, on the plus side, 22 states have already passed laws that make any form of discrimination in the workplace due to sexual orientation illegal. This is a big step in the right direction but much work still needs to be done.

In order for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to finally be implemented, it is important for as many citizens of the United States to show their support for equal rights in the workplace. Trump’s executive order revoking elements of the previous president’s order to ban discrimination due to sexual orientation in the workplace has set matters back even further.

In fact, the order has affected legislation even in states where discrimination due to sexual orientation has been made illegal since it revokes the need for federal and other organizations to comply with the previous order.