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LGBT Rights in the United States - LGBT rights in the United States
The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the United States have advanced significantly over time. Before 1962, all 50 states criminalized same-sex sexual activity, but by 2015 LGBT Americans had been granted the right to marry nationwide. Additionally, LGBT Americans are legally protected from discrimination in relation to employment, housing, and access to public housing in many states and communities, although LGBT Americans still do not have comprehensive legal protections from discrimination at the federal level.
Many LGBT Americans still face legal and social challenges that non-LGBT residents do not face, especially in states with large conservative populations like the deep south. in rural areas; and in some Native American tribal nations.
Many LGBT rights in the United States have been established by the United States Supreme Court. In five landmark decisions between 1996 and 2020, the Supreme Court invalidated a state law prohibiting protected recognition class based on homosexuality, Struck Sodomy laws nationwide, Struck Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act making same-sex marriage legal nationwide, and prohibited discrimination of gay and transgender workers in the workplace.
The anti-discrimination law related to LGBT people in terms of housing and private and public services varies from state to state, leaving residents of some states unprotected. 23 states plus Washington, DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 22 states plus Washington, DC prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. The equality law currently being proposed at the United States Congress would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity nationwide.
Family law also varies by state. The adoption of children by same-sex couples has been in effect since June 2015, following the decision of the Supreme Court Obergefell versus Hodges nationwide legal (although Mississippi only lifted its ban on same-sex adoption by a federal court in March 2016). Adoption guidelines vary widely between jurisdictions. Some states allow adoption by all couples while others prohibit adoption by all unmarried couples.
Hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity become punishable under federal law under the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act by Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. However, many states lack state-level laws against hate crimes related to sexual orientation and / or gender identity. LGBT people of color face the highest levels of discrimination and hate crimes, especially trans women of color.
Civil rights for LGBT people in the United States are represented by a variety of organizations at all levels and in all concentrations of political and legal life, including the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Legality of same-sex sexual activity
On June 26, 2003, the Supreme Court ruled in the Lawrence v Texas case, that intimate consensual sexual behavior is part of the freedom protected by due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. The majority opinion, written by Judge Anthony Kennedy, was raised Bowers versus Hardwick expressly on , a 1986 decision that made sodomy laws constitutional. Despite this ruling, some states have not repealed their sodomy laws, and local law enforcement officers have used these laws to harass or arrest gay people.
Before the 2003 Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence was against Texas Same-sex sexual activity illegal in fourteen US states, Puerto Rico, and the US military. At this point, 29 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories had legislated repeal of their state's sodomy laws. After repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in 2011, the US Congress repealed the US military's sodomy laws in 2014. Twelve states have ruled by the state supreme court or appellate courts that their state's sodomy laws are unconstitutional. In Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, state sodomy laws have been crushed by the courts, but lawmakers have not repealed those laws. On April 18, 2013, the governor of Montana signed a bill to repeal the state's sodomy law. it had previously been annulled by the Montana Supreme Court. On April 23, 2014, the governor of Virginia signed a bill to repeal the state's sodomy law. On October 1, 2020, a law repealing Maryland's sodomy law went into effect without the governor's signature.
Fourteen states have either not officially repealed their laws against sexual activity among consenting adults or have not revised them to bring them into their true scope Lawrence versus Texas accurately reproduce. Often times, the law of sodomy has been drafted to include other forms of sexual behavior such as bestiality, and no attempt has later succeeded in separating them. Eleven states are supposed to ban all forms of sodomy, some including sexual intercourse, regardless of the gender of the participants: Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Three states specifically target same-sex relationships: Kansas, Kentucky, and Texas.
The age of consent varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but is the same as the age of consent for heterosexual sex in most countries. The exception is Texas, whose law books still contain an outdated Romeo and Juliet law that makes the age of consent for gay and lesbian youth different from that for straight people.
Marriage recognition and adoption for same-sex couples
The civil marriage and benefits movement for same-sex couples in the United States began in the 1970s but remained unsuccessful for over forty years. On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first US state and sixth jurisdiction in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, following a Supreme Court decision six months earlier. Before national legalization, same-sex marriage became legal in 36 states; twenty-four states by court order, nine by legislative action, and three by referendum. Some states had legalized same-sex marriage through more than one of the three actions.
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell against Hodges, that states same-sex marriages authorize and have to acknowledge. As a result, same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Currently, same-sex marriages in American Samoa are neither licensed nor recognized due to their unique constitutional status. The legal status of same-sex marriage also varies among Native American tribal nations.
Prior to nationwide same-sex marriage, fifteen states had civil unions or domestic partnerships. Many of these states maintain these laws as a continued option for same-sex couples and opposing couples in certain states.
Same-sex couples are allowed in Obergefell versus Hodges , which legalizes same-sex marriage, in states and territories. In front Upper skin various states had legislated and judicial measures made it possible for same-sex couples to be adopted together.
U.S. naturalized citizens whose biological children were born overseas may not be able to obtain U.S. citizenship for their children even if their spouse is also a U.S. citizen. This can disproportionately affect same-sex couples, as usually only one spouse is biologically related to the child.
- Law in Defense of Marriage
The United States Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, prohibiting the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and exempting states from recognizing same-sex unions operating in other jurisdictions.
On June 26, 2013, Section 3 of the DOMA (“Definition of Marriage”) was approved by the US Supreme Court in the US against Windsor for declared unconstitutional. The law was introduced after the decision of the US Supreme Court, Obergefell versus Hodges (2015), practically no longer enforceable.
- Former state prohibitions on same-sex marriage
After the DOMA was passed in 1996, many state lawmakers enacted state laws, nicknamed Mini-DOMA, that prohibit same-sex marriages. As of 1972, all states except New Mexico with Maryland passed a law banning same-sex marriage before entering into law in June 2015 Obergefell versus Hodges legalized nationwide.
After Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, fourteen states amended their constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, and many also ban civil unions.
28 states have passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Voters in Hawaii voted for a tighter constitutional amendment that allowed lawmakers to outlaw same-sex marriages, which they did back in 1993.
On November 6, 2012, Minnesota became the first state to vote against a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The amendment failed with 53% to 47%.
All state constitutional and legal prohibitions on same-sex marriage were passed in June 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Declared unconstitutional.
A May 2018 Gallup poll found that 67% of Americans were in favor of same-sex marriage. A public opinion poll by The Washington Post / ABC News of March 2014 found that 59% of Americans are in favor of same-sex marriage, and an opinion poll of the New York Times / CBS News in February 2014 found that 56% are in favor of same-sex marriage. A November 2012 Gallup poll found that 61% of gays and lesbians are allowed to adopt children.
Protection against discrimination
Federal law does not specifically provide protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In June 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled that sexual orientation and gender identity were listed under "Gender" as a prohibited ground for workplace discrimination in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ruling may affect other federal civil rights, with the exception of gender discrimination in education, healthcare, housing, and financial credit.
Explicit and comprehensive anti-discrimination measures based on sexual orientation and gender identity are under scrutiny by the United States Congress under the Equality Act, which "was passed by a bipartisan vote of 236-173 in the House of Representatives on May 17, 2019". As of July 27, 2020, the bill will remain in the Senate.
Workplace discrimination refers to discriminatory employment practices such as hiring bias, promotion, work order, termination and compensation, and various types of harassment.
There is no federal law that specifically addresses workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, in June 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled that sexual orientation and gender identity were listed under "Gender" as a prohibited ground for workplace discrimination in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This effectively means that no employer in the US can fire an employee based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Twenty-four states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and over 140 cities and counties have non-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation and / or sexual identity. In addition, some states have laws or regulations that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and / or sexual orientation only in the public service.
By order of the executive, the presidents have also established certain protective measures for some employees of the federal government. In 1995, President Bill Clinton's Executive Order 12968, which established criteria for issuing security clearances, first included sexual orientation in its non-discrimination language: "The United States government does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or gender, national origin, Disability or sexual orientation in granting access to classified information "It also states that" no inference "as to suitability for access to classified information" should only be based on the employee's sexual orientation ". Clinton's 1998 Executive Order 13087 prohibited sexual orientation discrimination in federal civilian workforce competition service. This was true for the vast majority of federal employees, but not for the exempted services like the military.
In early 2010, the Obama administration introduced gender identity into classes protected from discrimination under the supervision of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In 2012, the EEOC ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow discrimination based on gender identity based on employment, as it is a form of sexual discrimination.
On July 21, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Decree 13672, which sets out the categories protected from discrimination in the recruitment of civilian workers, "gender identity," and the categories protected from discrimination, both "sexual orientation" and " Gender Identity "added recruiting and employing contractors and subcontractors to the federal government. Obama's related Executive Order 13673 required federal contractors to demonstrate compliance with labor laws, but President Trump revoked that requirement on March 27, 2017.
As of June 15, 2020, all people who work for employers who employ more than 15 people will be in Bostock v Clayton County, Georgia, Protected from discrimination based solely on sexual orientation or gender identity. According to a HuffPost / YouGov poll conducted a few days later, two-thirds of registered US voters agree with the Supreme Court's ruling that employment non-discrimination laws are designed to protect LGBT identity.
The Office for fair living and equal opportunities ( FHEO ) is an agency of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHEO is responsible for administering and enforcing federal fair housing laws and establishing guidelines that ensure all Americans have equal access to housing of their choice. Housing discrimination refers to the discrimination against potential or current tenants by landlords. The United States has no federal law against such discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but at least twenty-two states and many major cities have laws prohibiting it. See, for example, Washington House Bill 2661.
In 2012, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunities issued an ordinance entitled "Equal Access" to ban discrimination against LGBT people in federally sponsored housing programs. It ensures that the ministry's core housing programs are open to all eligible individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. However, attempts were made in 2019 to weaken the regulation.
The Office for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunities is responsible for enforcing a number of fair housing laws that prohibit discrimination in both private and publicly supported housing, including:
Among the landmark civil cases on gay rights in housing is Braschi v Stahl Associates Co. In 1989, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that plaintiff Miguel Braschi, the surviving partner in a same-sex relationship, was considered a "family" under New York law and thus could continue to live in a rent-controlled apartment of the deceased partner.
On April 14, 2010, President Barack Obama issued an executive order to the Department of Health and Human Services to develop new rules for all hospitals that accept Medicare or Medicaid funds. They would need facilities to grant visiting and medical decision-making rights to gay and lesbian partners and designates of others such as widows and widowers. Such rights are not legally protected in many countries. Obama said he was inspired by the case of a family in Florida where one of the mothers died while their partner and four children were denied hospital admission. On June 12, 2020, the Trump administration issued a new rule stating that sexual orientation and gender identity are not covered by the anti-discrimination protection of the Affordable Care Act. However, this was reversed by the Biden administration and Obama-era politics restored.
Hate Crime Laws
Hate crime laws (also called Known bias laws ) protect against crimes motivated by feelings of hostility towards a protected class. By 2009 a federal law defined it from 1969
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