Friday, June 28, 2019

50 Years After Stonewall: The Work Ahead

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, MAP, in partnership with the Center for American Progress, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign, is releasing an updated edition of Understanding Issues Facing LGBT People in the U.S. Led by transgender women, drag queens, homeless LGBT teens, lesbians, gay men, and allies, many of whom were people of color, the Stonewall Riots, which came in response to an early morning police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York City targeting LGBT people, were a key turning point in the fight for LGBT equality in the United States.

Fifty years later, much has been accomplished, yet much still remains to be done. The landmark marriage equality ruling by the United States Supreme Court in 2015 allowed same-sex couples to marry nationwide, yet the federal government is arguing that employers should be allowed to legally fire LGBT people, and that adoption agencies should be able to keep kids in foster care rather than allow them to be adopted by qualified, loving, same-sex parents.

This primer highlights the major areas in which equality as advanced for LGBT people, as well as the continued legal barriers to fully participating in American life. It is no longer a crime to be gay, yet many LGBT people still experience discrimination when simply going about their daily lives—whether eating at a diner with their families or friends, trying to obtain safe and inclusive healthcare, or interacting with the criminal justice system. Just last month, MAP released a new map showing which states ban the use of so-called “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses in court. These defenses are legal strategies in which a person who has committed a violent crime against an LGBT person will claim that the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity caused the attacker to commit the crime.

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