Tuesday, July 1, 2014
July 1, 2014
As you know, Poppets, I am a staunch supporter of equal rights for everyone. Which is why these numbers please me:
According to freedomtomarry.org, as of this writing, 19 states – including Washington, so yay – have recognized marriage equality. Additionally, 12 states have taken judicial action that is expected to pave the way toward marriage equality. Another 3 states have domestic partnership laws in place. That’s 34 states moving toward equality recognition. How can I not be happy about this? I am. Truly.
According to the Human Rights Campaign (http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/maps-of-state-laws-policies) – and however you feel about their politics and the implementation of their policies, they are a solid source of hard numbers – there are these numbers as well:
Statewide Housing Laws and Policies: 29 states allow for housing discrimination of LGBTQ peoples. Only 18 states, and Washington DC, prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Another 3 prohibit it based on sexual orientation only. The federal regulations say that participants must follow state and local laws – which doesn’t have much teeth when there are no state and local laws in place – and that a tenant’s sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be questioned. (updated May 15, 2014)
Statewide Employment Laws and Policies: 29 states allow for employment discrimination of LGBTQ peoples. 18 states, and Washington DC, prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Another 3 prohibit it based on sexual orientation only. The good news is that just last month, President Obama signed one of the most sweeping anti-discrimination executive orders ever. Employers with federal contract must not discriminate against LGBTQ peoples, period. Still, there are a lot of employers in those 29 states without government contracts. (updated May 15, 2014)
State Hate Crime Laws: 20 states do not offer specific protection against hate crimes committed against LGBTQ peoples. 15 states, and Washington DC, protect against hate crime committed specifically against LGBTQ peoples. Another 15 states protect against hate crimes committed based specifically on sexual orientation, only. In fairness, and full-disclosure, 14 states have anti-hate crime legislation on the books, but do not protect LGBTQ people specifically. And solidarity goes out to the people of color, non-Christian, disabled, and anyone else not perfectly mainstream who are living in the 5 states that offer no hate crime protection for anyone, at all: Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Wyoming. (updated June 19, 2013 – information on every state not available)
Statewide School Anti-Bullying Laws: 32 states do not offer laws specifically protecting LGBTQ students from being bullied. 18 states, and Washington DC, have laws protecting LGBTQ children from being bulled at school due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The good news is that all but 1 state offer anti-bullying laws, regulations, or policies, either in general or specifically protecting LGBTQ students. Montana is the lone hold-out against anti-bullying laws. (updated May 28, 2014)
Statewide School Non-Discrimination Laws: 37 states do not offer laws against the discrimination of school children based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Think about that one for a second – there are states that think it is perfectly okay for teachers, administrators, and school districts to discriminate against children based on who they are. 12 states, and DC, have laws against school discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 1 state has laws against school discrimination based on sexual orientation only. The good news is there are 4 other states that at least have policies and regulations against discrimination due to LGBTQ status – 3 for orientation and identity; 1 for orientation alone. (updated June 4, 2013)
And this, Poppets, is why I am only so excited about marriage equality. Yes, it is a right, and therefore important. Absolutely. As I have written before, I hope the momentum built by the marriage equality fight continues. I can think of no greater legacy. But until I see that happen, until I see people as fired up about violence, homelessness, the treatment of LGBTQ children and teens – until then, I can only be so excited about a wedding.
Until next month, Poppets, take care of you – and each other.