Dear Future President,
Even though the LGBT rights movement is going in the right direction, we still are not protected by the law as we should be, given the fact that we, too, are Americans. One thing that was monumental in our movement was having gay marriage legalized in all 50 states. But, that’s not enough. Actually, that is the least of our problems. We need protections against discrimination in housing, jobs, education, and even in everyday life that have to involve hate crimes and legal issues. Our voices deserve to be heard.
America in itself is diverse so we should have laws that apply to everyone as a whole. This applies to race, minorities, gender identification, class rank, and sexual preference. According to hrc.org, there are 23 states that do not recognize or address hate crimes which pertain to sexual orientation and identification ("MAPS OF STATE LAWS & POLICIES”) As an American, everyone should be protected from hate and bias crimes. However, this is not the case because we as LGBT people are being excluded or have to have several laws for our protections, some of which do not recognize us.
Equal opportunity is something that America prides itself on; however, many Americans are not enjoying the protection and privilege that our ideals state. I myself am a part of the LGBT community and have experienced some of these problems first hand, after I got hired to several jobs. For example, when I had my interviews, I had to put on a heterosexual male persona in order to not face discrimination against me during the hiring process. Now, according to law, I was protected from discrimination in ONLY the hiring process. It says nothing about discrimination AFTER getting hired. After I was hired, I came out of my shell and most of the employees knew I was homosexual. Then, tension with my managers started to arise. No one wanted to work with me unless they were female, the employees would talk about me all the time, and my manager grew some type of animosity towards me and started to cut my hours in half. After a while, I quit because I never felt comfortable in my work environment. According to dosomething.org, 42% of LGBT live and work in an unwelcome environment (“11 Facts LGBT”) . This is far too high a number.
As our next president, I suggest you give rights that Americans expect and deserve to the LGBT community. Regardless of gender identification or sexual preference, the constitution should apply to all citizens as a whole. However, as the above examples and statistics indicate, this isn’t a reality yet. Since we aren’t protected by all of the rights in the constitution, on behalf of the community, I say not recognizing certain rights of specific groups of people (as I call them, the “non-included citizens”) should be deemed unconstitutional. A few things could help this matter. You can propose certain laws and regulations with legislature and the supreme court as a first step. Even doing something as little as just recognizing the LGBT as part of the American people could also be a major step and open doors to other controversies such as racism, abortion, and especially the debate about church and state.