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LGBT Americans Face Unfair Laws and Stigma

LGBT Americans Face Unfair Laws and Stigma

A report commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign, Log Cabin Republicans, National Stonewall Democrats, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and Movement Advancement Project found that LGBT Americans still face a heavy stigma and unfair laws regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

"Most LGBT Americans live in a two-tier system where they must navigate conflicting state laws with the federal government's refusal to offer the most basic securities, such as employment non-discrimination and anti-bullying protections," said a press release announcing the report.

An Ally's Guide to Issues Facing LGBT Americans (PDF) offers an overview of the inequality faced on a daily basis by LGBT people thanks to a patchwork of often-conflicting federal and state laws. The report's opening paragraph describes what LGBT Americans are seeking.

"LGBT Americans want the same chance as everyone else to pursue health and happiness, earn a living, be safe in their communities, serve their country, and take care of the ones they love," according to the report.

The report highlights that federal legislation does not protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, or lending. It also points out that most LGBT workers cannot add their partner or children to a company insurance plan, and similarly cannot receive survivor benefits from an employer or Social Secutrity when a spouse dies.

“With all of the media and political attention on marriage, very few Americans understand the full extent of the inequality LGBT Americans face every day,” Jerame Davis, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats, said in the press release. “Kids in foster care are denied loving and qualified parents for no other reason than because those parents are gay or lesbian. Older LGBT Americans live in poverty because they’re denied access to Social Security Survivor Benefits. This resource highlights all of these issues and more in an accessible and easy to read manner."

Read the whole report here.

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