There are a range of answers when the role of a government is questioned. To put it simply, the government was created to enhance life. There are various ways the government must do in order to achieve this goal. It is through the resolution of disputes and the protection of lives, liberties, and property of individuals. There are laws put in place that protect people based on their sex, race, religion, and disability, but no clear protections for the gender identity and sexual orientation of people in all aspects of public life. To make sure that the law equally protects all civil rights, the Equality Act should be passed.
The LGBT community are still being discriminated against in this day and age. One issue is employment discrimination. Although sexual orientation and gender identity do not have any relation to how one may perform in the workplace, the previous four decades has documented high levels of discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people in the workplace (Mallory & Sears, 2011). In 2008 the GSS, a national probability survey representing the United States population, showed the of the Lesbian, Bisexual, and gay respondents, 27% had experienced at least a form of sexual orientation discrimination and 7% had lost a job during the five years before the survey, while 38% experienced at least one form of sexual discrimination among the ones who were open about their sexual orientation to their coworkers. More than a third of the respondents stated that they were not out to any of their coworkers. Transgender respondents reported an even higher percentage with 78% experiencing at least one form of harassment or mistreatment at work because of their gender identity(Mallory & Sears, 2011). It was also shown that the wages of gay men were lower than heterosexual men as well.
The second issue is housing discrimination. On top of sexual orientation and gender identity not being protected classes under the federal Fair Housing Act, in 28 states, it is legally allowed to deny housing(Graves, 2018). This is a concern to the LGBT community as they are more likely to be discriminated against when looking for a home to move in. They may be shown less homes/units. Others were not able to put both partners’ names on a homeowner’s insurance policy and or were refused claims by insurance companies because the owners are “unrelated”(Housing for LGBTQ+ People, 2018). The third issue to address is discrimination in health care. There is currently no federal legislation prohibiting healthcare discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity(You Don’t Want Second Best, 2018). Because of this, when an event does occur, LGBT people are left with little help in this situation. In a survey conducted by the Center for American Progress in 2017, reports that a healthcare provider had refused to see them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity were 8 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual respondents and 29 percent of transgender respondents as well as 9 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual respondents and 21 percent of transgender respondents saying a provider had used harsh or abusive language when they sought medical care(You Don’t Want Second Best, 2018). As it is proven here, discrimination against the LGBT is very much so still prevalent.
In order to protect the civil rights of the LGBT community, what needs to be implemented is the Equality Act. If the Equality Act were to be passed, it would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system.on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs such as retail stores, services such as banks and legal services, and transportation services. on the basis of sex as well (The Equality Act,2018). The passing of this act will largely benefit the LGBT community in many ways. With Trump in presidency, it is well know that his administration diminishes the efforts of equal rights for the LGBT people, asserting that this certain discrimination is lawful. Letting Congress know the change that needs to be done is important. The protection of these rights will lift the negative effects of discrimination against LGBT in the workplace in terms of job opportunities, mental health, pay, and job satisfaction as well as productivity. With this act in place, employers can no longer give a different wage pay to this marginalized group. More employers may begin to hire.
They would be getting the same amount of pay as they should be. The implementation of this act may let the LGBT people feel more safe to be themselves. In the survey above, it was mentioned that one third of the respondents were not openly comfortable about their sexual orientation. They may feel more comfortable after knowing that their civil rights are finally protected. Feeling safe in their on skin will make going to work more enjoyable. In terms of housing, they will be able to look for homes without any trouble or worrying that they may be denied housing due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Last but not least, health care would be so much less complicated. The concerns of being discriminated against delay or even cause LGBT people to forego seeking medical care. With the Trump administration that tried advancing two regulatory changes, the act would stop it immediately.
In May 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services began rolling back the rule clarifying section 1557. This is the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs or activities(Section 1557 of the Patient Protection,2018). Rather than defending the rule in court, the Trump administration announced its plans to eliminate the clarification that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on gender identity. In April 2018, the court was notified that Trump’s administration had submitted a proposed rule to that effect to the White House for approval. Had this plan gone through, LGBT people would be less certain of their rights. The Equality Act will aid in no longer having to fear being turned away from doctors when they are in need of medical assistance.
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