Legal Discrimination against the LGBT Community

Before I get too far I want to talk about the LGBT acronym. Lgbt is the more commonly used term but the official term is actually LGBTIQCAPGNGFNBA this stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Curious, Asexual, Pansexual, Gender-non-conforming, Gender-Fluid, Non-binary, and Androgynous.

I believe that equality is being able to be who you are without the fear of judgment or persecution (as long as you are not causing anyone else any harm). People should not have to worry about getting jumped because of their race, gender, and/or sexuality. I believe that everyone has the right to representation in the government, free good quality education. I believe that everyone has the right to a voice to speak out for what they believe in. I believe that every person of every country is entitled to basic human rights and protections. But sadly the lgbt+ community has been the target of hatred and violence for hundreds of years. They have been killed and tortured for just being who they are. For this project I have decided to focus on the legal side of the lgbt+ discrimination, starting with colonial America all the way to modern day.

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In 1624 Richard Cornish, an English ship captain was hung for an alleged homosexual act with an indentured servant, William Couse. the act in question was actually a rape, now most of the time they would handle a “straight” rape very differently, most times there would be fines and public wipings for both parties, sometimes the attacker would be forced to leave the colony, and the most shocking thing is that if the victim was not married they would often be encouraged to marry their attacker. Although this is sodomy and the punishments for where often way more dramatic than some other crimes, and in 1636 in Massachusetts, Reverend John Cotton, the preeminent minister and theologian of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Proposed to include “sexual relations between women” into the definition of sodomy for the first time, and if you do not know what sodomy is, sodomy is sexual intercourse involving anal or oral. Only is 1777 Thomas Jefferson revised Virginia law to make the punishment of sodomy mutilation (cutting off or injuring a body part of a person so that the part of the body is permanently damaged, detached or disfigured) rather than execution.

From around 1880-1920 America experienced an influx of immigrants trying to come to America, by 1920 4 million immigrants had entered the united states. Buring this time the government put in laws to help control the number of people in the USA, such as in 1917 lawmaker put into effect a ban that prevented “persons with abnormal sexual instincts” from coming into the United States.

In 1947 under President Truman’s national security loyalty program, the state department started firing suspected homosexuals. By 1955 anti-gay “witch hunts” caused more then 1200 people to lose their jobs with the federal government, going along with this president Eisenhower issued executive order #10450, this order authorized broad categories of American citizens identified as “threats” to national security–including those with criminal records, alcoholics, and “sex perverts”–to be excluded or terminated from federal employment. Latter many states and local government adopted similar policies. Only in 1995 did President Bill Clinton sign an executive order forbidding the denial of security clearances on the basis of sexual orientation. However, Being closeted and vulnerable to blackmail was still a possible grounds for a clearance denial.

With the first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, in 1979, over 100,000 people joined the protest. The march nationalizes the gay movement, which had been more focused on local struggles in the past. With the closing section of the welcome program of the march, authored by Allen Young, you can really feel the vide of the whole march. “Today in the capital of America, we are all here, the most liberated and the slightly repressed; the butch, the femme and everything in-between; the androgynous; the monogamous and the promiscuous; the masturbators and the fellators and the tribadists; men in dresses and women in neckties; those who bite and those who cuddle; celebates[sic] and pederasts; diesel-dykes and nelly queens; Amazons and size queens, Yellow, Black, Brown, White, and Red; the shorthaired and the long, the fat and the thin; the nude and the prude; the beauties and the beasts; the studs and the duds; the communes, the couples, and the singles; pubescents and the octogenarians. Yes, we are all here! We are everywhere! Welcome to the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights!” on June 26, 2015, in a 5-4 decision the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all state bans on same-sex marriage and on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions are unconstitutional under the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Equal marriage is something that LGBT+ citizens have been fighting for since the ’70s.

There are lots of groups looking to help fight for gaining lgbt+ rights in America such as a group called Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD). GLAD’s main focus is to abolish outdated laws and stereotypes that denied LGBT+ people basic protections and opportunities of daily life, one of the cases that they participated in is Good v. Iowa Department of Human Services. Iowa’s Medicaid program provides coverage for medically essential care for an extensive variety of medical conditions. However, Iowa denies transgender humans Medicaid coverage for a gender-affirming surgical operation to treat gender dysphoria, a medical situation only experienced by human beings who are transgender, even though Medicaid coverage is provided for the same surgical procedures for other medical conditions. This discriminatory ban on coverage has no basis in medical science and has been uniformly condemned through leading clinical organizations. The case challenged the ban as a violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act (“ICRA”) and the Iowa Constitution’s equality guarantees. Sadly the case was dismissed.

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