Update: I originally published this post on August 4, 2007. I am happy to say things have changed quite a bit since then when it comes to issues with LGBT equality. Although we still have a ways to go before achieving our goals, at least things are moving in the right direction.
I was asked by a visitor of this site to provide some clarification on why I believe this country treats me as a second-class citizen. Here are a few of the reasons why I feel that I and other gays and lesbians are being discriminated against simply because of sexuality.
There are over 1000 legal protections that automatically come with marriage, which gays are not allowed to have (except for one state) and none are recognized federally. Even civil unions carry no weight on a federal level.
There are many places in this country where a homosexual can be fired simply for being gay, since homosexuality isn’t covered under the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Currently, 33 states allow firing based on sexual orientation and 42 states allow firing based on gender identity. The federal government doesn’t seem to care.
There is currently a bill in my state legislature that would prohibit public colleges from providing same-sex partner benefits to their employees, a reaction to one college deciding to offer them.
Foster Care & Adoption
Many states do not allow homosexuals to adopt or foster children.
Many gay couples are torn apart because they fall in love with someone that lives in another country. Since they can’t marry, the foreign partner can’t automatically become a citizen, which would be the case with a straight marriage.
Health Insurance Benefits
Since we can’t marry, our partners aren’t covered by our insurance plans at work. A few companies and states are beginning to offer benefits to same-sex couples, while the federal government turns a blind eye to the injustice.
Gay aren’t allowed to serve openly in the military, although studies have shown that countries that allow gays to serve don’t have problems with morale (the main reason given by our government).
The list goes on and on…