LGBTQ Stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Ransgender and Queer

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“LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning. There has been important progress in LGTBQ rights over time in the United States; however, there is still many changes that need to be made. One on the most liberal countries with regards to LGBTQ rights is the United states, but those rights often vary between jurisdictions. This causes the United States to fall behind many other countries that have more liberal laws on LGBTQ rights. Laws regarding family and anti-discrimination for LGBTQ rights vary by states. Ever since the ruling in 2015 that allows same sex marriages, many believe that LGBTQ members of society have equal rights; however, they still face many struggles and discriminations every day.

Members of the LGBTQ society seem to have equal rights; however, when looking into more information it is seen that there seems to be a big gap between their rights and everyone else’s rights. As of June 26, 2015, all fifty states in the United States recognize marriage between same-sex couples as a decision of the Supreme Court, giving us the impression that they have equal rights. Many don’t realize that these rights however vary by state and jurisdiction. Many states have different laws regarding anti-discrimination laws. The age of consent varies by jurisdiction, with some having different ages of consent for same sex relations, as opposed to male-female relations. Shouldn’t same sex couples have the same rights as a male-female couple? Only twenty-two states in the United States along with Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. They have no constitutional protection or hate speech laws in any state or jurisdiction. They also have no public accommodation protection in things like restaurants, retail stores, educational institutions, and recreational facilities (wiki).

“Conversion therapy is a pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions” (dictionary). There has been no reliable evidence that these practices work or that anyone’s sexual orientation can be changed. Many medical professionals have warned that these practices are ineffective and may potentially cause harm to the recipients. However, there is still many states that allow conversion therapy on minors. If these techniques have been known to cause harm and have no evidence of it working, then we should be protecting everyone especially minors from this practice. Techniques that were often used in conversion therapy before 1981 included ice pick lobotomies and chemical castration with hormonal treatment. More recent techniques that have been used have been counseling, social skills training and psychoanalytic therapy. There have also been reports of more aversive treatments through unlicensed practices. In 2011 the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Attorney General of the United States stated, “while sexual orientation carries no visible badge, a growing scientific consensus accepts that sexual orientation is a characteristic that is immutable” (wiki). A new study that was published in the Journal of Homosexuality added further evidence that conversion therapy has negative effects on the mental health of LGBTQ adolescents that are subjected to it. Young adults between the age of twenty-one and twenty-five were asked to share their experiences as an adolescent that was subjected to conversion therapy. Many of these teens that were subjected to this therapy by their parents had worse outcomes. They had higher rates of depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, and substances abuse problems. It is our job to protect our citizen, even more so the future of America the youth.

Allowing them to be subjected to this awful treatment needs to be stopped. Since 2009 fourteen states along with Washington D.C. have banned conversion therapy; however, this only bans conversion therapy in minors. California this year had considered a bill that would make conversion therapy a form of consumer fraud. This would have been the first law in the United States that would protect adults from this harmful treatment; however, it didn’t advance, but has promises to bring it back. These bans only address licensed therapist and don’t protect minors and young adults from counseling religious leaders that might try to change their sexual orientation. No matter adult or minor members of the LGBTQ society need protection against these awful practices. Michael Bussee an ex conversion therapist and Prickett a once conversion therapy minister has started a group, an online forum that contains powerful voices in the fight against conversion therapy organizations. Prickett a once married minister that is now openly gay spoke out about his struggles with conversion therapy. He states trying everything that anyone suggested to him to change his sexual orientation. By “everything”, he means everything, “I had hands laid on me, I was anointed with oil, I had demons cast out of me, I prayed prayers confessing the sins of generations past, the sins that my fore-parents may have committed. I would try anything because I wanted to overcome these temptations” (Daily Beast). Later separated from his wife he says he hit rock bottom, “I had a bottle of bourbon and I just started drinking, and I drank about half of that bottle and then I pulled out a pistol and I decided that I had failed everybody”( Daily Beast). If it wasn’t for passing out from being drunk Prickett wouldn’t be here today fighting for LGBTQ rights. If an adult feels this shame and pressure from conversion therapy, what is it doing to our minors? Isn’t it our job to protect them?

Being in the military has always been considered an honor. Many men and women voluntary to fight for our country every day. However, many LGBTQ men and women often have struggles when it comes to their sexual orientation and enlisting. Formerly the United States military excluded gay men, bisexuals, and lesbians from service. President Bill Clinton and Congress passed the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in 1993. Which allowed gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve as long as they didn’t reveal their sexual orientation. In December 2010 the House and Senate passed and President Barack Obama signed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010” that ended the restrictions on service by gay, lesbian, and bisexual personnel and allowed them to openly serve. This was a big win for many members and future members of the military. What many failed to realize that there were still problems that needed addressed. Even though they were allowed to serve openly now, the spouses of same-sex service members weren’t treated the same as different-sex spouses of military service members were. Restrictions imposed in Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and certain federal statutes contained definitions of marriage that excluded same-sex couples. They were denied death benefits, identification cards, base access and other entitlements until 2013.

After this many believed that the struggle for LGBTQ military service personnel was finally were it needed to be even transgender have been serving openly in the military since a ban was lifted in 2016. However, with one new policy against transgender troops could face many struggles. A new policy for transgender troops says, they can enlist and serve, but only if they stick to their biological sex. They are not allowed transitioning. This is said to be necessary to protect the readiness of troops. They are allowed to identify as transgender but must stick to their biological sex to be allowed to serve. They won’t be allowed to serve if they have a disorder where a person’s gender identity doesn’t match their physical gender at birth, a condition known as gender dysphoria. The policy will exempt troops that have already transitioned or have already started the transitioning process. If anyone would defy the regulations they will be forced out of uniform. Shannon Minter a lawyer that represents transgender service members has challenged the policy in federal court, stating “It’s baloney, of course it’s a ban” (NY Times). He states, “It prevents trans people from serving and will purge the military of transgender service members” (NY Times). If everyone has equal rights in our great country, then why put rules and bans in place that discriminate against transgenders that want to stand up and defend their country.

These members of society face discriminations everyday that others do not. Adoption is one of those discriminations that they may face and is something that we hear a great deal about in the news, especially with the pro-choice, pro-life crowd. Same sex couples are allowed to adopt in states and territories that following the ruling legalizing same sex marriage. Before this bill, various states and judicial action had allowed joint adoption by same sex couples; however, there are cases where these couples are discriminated against and turned away from adoption agencies. There are also many states that permit state licensed child welfare agencies to refuse to place and provide services to children and families if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs, this includes LGBT people and same-sex couples.

Should their religious beliefs stop a child from receiving a safe and loving home. The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment in July 2018 that if implemented would allow adoption agencies to refuse gay couples based on their moral and religious beliefs. This amendment would allow religious organizations to operate child welfare agencies. However, this amendment could have consequences to the LGBTQ friendly states. It would require the United States Department of Health and Human Services to hold fifteen percent of federal funds for child welfare services from states and localities that don’t meet the same standards for protecting religious adoption groups. Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, a gay congressman from Wisconsin said in a tweet, “Same-sex couples are six times more likely to foster and four times more likely to adopt. Denying kids loving parents is wrong” (CNN). Which is exactly what this bill would do. It would make it harder for LGBTQ families to grow and would stop many kids from finding loving homes. Does it really matter if a child is adopted by a same sex couple or not, as long as it has a healthy, loving, and safe environment to learn and grow in.

We believe everyone that is a United States citizen has the same rights and laws protecting them, when in reality that isn’t true, and it is a hard fact to face. LGBTQ citizens have no constitutional protection, no protections agains hate speech, and no public accommodation protections that every other citizen has. Many states and subdivisions have prohibited discrimination in public places. All laws since 2015 protect against discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, and even religion. There are even several states that have protection plans in place for breastfeeding mothers. But none of those protections that are in place protect LGBTQ citizens. When in reality they are the ones in our world today that need the protection that we offer everyone else. In 2016 Center for American Progress conducted a survey that found one quarter of the LGBTQ respondents experienced some form of discrimination due to their gender identity or sexual orientation in employment, housing, and/or public accommodations. It also found that transgender and LGBT people that contained disabilities were affected at greater rates (lgbtmap).

Discrimination in the work force is something that many don’t think about and is something that should be talked about more. “Employment discrimination refers to discriminatory employment practices such as bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, and compensation, and various types of harassment” (wiki). When it comes to employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity there is no federal statute that addresses the issue. Even the protection on a national level is limited. Some government employees have regulations to protect them, but that protection doesn’t extend to private sectors. If government employees have protection against workplace discrimination, then shouldn’t the everyday person have the right to that same protection. President Obama made great strides on July 21, 2014 when he signed the Executive Order 1367. He added gender identity to the categories protected against discrimination in hiring federal civilians. It also made it required for federal contractors to prove their compliance with labor laws; however, in 2017 Trump revoked this requirement (wiki). Many states have some protection for certain members of the LGBTQ society; however, many states don’t that includes West Virginia and Texas. Something that many people don’t think about is something that these people have very little to no protection against. Shouldn’t they be allowed to have the same protection as everyone else. Being LGBTQ doesn’t stop them from performing the same job as someone else, and they should have the same protection that other employees in their field have.

Even though we have laws that allow same sex marriage doesn’t mean that LGBTQ have the same rights that everyone else does. We can see that LGBTQ members of society have little to no protection and don’t have the same rights as other citizens. Even minors have to be worried about being subjected to conversion therapies that have been proven to cause mental harm and bullying. LGBTQ students have reported that over 60% feel unsafe at school, 40% have been harassed physically, and close to 19% have actually been assaulted. Shouldn’t we offer these citizens and students the same rights and protections that everyone else is offered with being a citizen of the United States, shouldn’t we protect not only minors, but anyone from the harms that have been proven to come from conversion therapy? It is up to us to make a change and that change needs to happen!”

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LGBTQ Stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, ransgender and Queer. (2021, Apr 08). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/lgbtq-stands-for-lesbian-gay-bisexual-ransgender-and-queer/

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