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Gene Robinson on the state of LGBT rights

A man holds a rainbow flag in front of the capitol building in Utah

Gene Robinson on the state of LGBT rights

Photo: AP/Rick Bowmer


Gene Robinson, the recently retired Bishop of New Hampshire, address the victories in the struggle for LGBT rights, while acknowledging the discrimination that still exists.

From The Daily Beast:

In 14 of those states in which a gay or lesbian person is allowed to marry the person they love, one can get married on Sunday and be fired from his or her job on Monday morning—for the simple reason of being gay, with no employment protection or recourse in the courts.

Robinson’s article references the latest report on LGBT rights (PDF), which he helped author, from The Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan institute focused on progressivism. We the People, Why Congress and U.S. States Must Pass Comprehensive LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections, outlines an extensive amount of legal discrimination which can be used to discriminate against LGBT people in housing, employment, and basic social services.

Again, from The Daily Beast article:

One Michigan facility even required LGBT youth to wear orange clothing to identify and separate them from other residents in the shelter.

Robinson’s article is timely, and reminds those of us with privilege that our laws and society still discriminate against some individuals, despite important gains in other areas. Other LGBT writers have already spoken about the danger in pushing marriage equality, while avoiding dealing with other discrimination, and some even see marriage rights as a deliberate attempt to derail discussions on other equality issues.

From Julie Bindel in the Guardian:

Isn’t marriage merely a clever ploy to keep us quiet about the trickier issues such as the deportation of lesbian asylum seekers, and the still prevalent anti-gay bullying in schools and religious communities? While so many lesbians are busily getting hitched and drawing up wedding lists, while being featured in the pages of newspapers, have we lost sight of those within our community suffering in silence? A shocking 78% of lesbians and gay men have experienced prejudice during their lifetime, according to the survey, with more than a quarter of them suffering physical assault.

Did you realize how many legal barriers still existed for LGBT people? Does the report come as an eye-opener, or just confirmation of discrimination you may have faced?



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Rod Gillis

There is a saying, ‘the devil is in the details’. In terms of justice and social arrangements the articles by both Bishop Robinson and Julie Bindel are a reminder of the wisdom in this saying. Thanks for both.

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