7 Facts About LGBT Rights in the USA
LGBT rights – Lesbian, Gay, bi-sexual, Transgender rights have been hard to come by even in our country which is forward thinking, industrially advanced and more liberal than a lot of other countries. The LGBT activists are still fighting with the state governments about the protection afforded to them and also some of the rights that re denied to them. Some stated in the country still follow some archaic rules that outlaw basic things like marriage. Also a same sex couple who live together cannot claim inheritance after the death if their partner in a lot of states. Although some states have changed their laws, the country still has a long way to go in terms of treating the LGBT community as equals and not discriminating them. Here are some facts about LGBT rights in the USA.
1. Although it is not legal for same sex couples in California to get married, it was banned as recently as 2008
In November of 2008, California voters approved Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage. This move by the state overturned the Supreme Court decision that gave gay couples the right to wed. Last year however, California changed its laws and many same sex couples were able to legalize their union.
2. The benefits and responsibilities given to a hetero sexual couple in a marriage are denies to same sex couples
The federal government has given 1,138 benefits and responsibilities based on marital status, not on civil union status which means same sex couples do not enjoy the same rights as hetero sexual couples. Some of those benefits are unpaid leave to care for an ill spouse, social security survivor benefits and spousal benefits, and the right not to testify against one’s spouse and a lot more benefits that are important.
3. Although most states have anti-hate crime laws, only 24 states include sexual orientation in the legislation
In spite of having anti-hate crime laws, many states, almost half of them have failed to include discrimination based on sexual preference in their legislation. Only the district of Columbia and 24 others states have included it.
4. In July 2009, the Senate approved the Matthew Shepard Act
This Act is very important as it outlaws hate crimes based on both sexual orientation and gender identity.