It is known that the issue concerning gay and lesbian rights in the United States is a controversial one. Some people considers that it is necessary to make the rights of gays and lesbians legal, while others adhere to the opinion that the rights of gays and lesbians should not be legalized. The problem is that many people in the United States have negative attitude to gays and lesbians. For example, Marshal Kirk and Hunter Madsen state in their study After the Ball: How American will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s state that there are “seven hallowed public myths of homosexuality”¯ which describe public relation to gays and lesbians. They include the following aspects: “hardly worth thinking about, few in number, easy to spot, homosexual because of sin, insanity or seduction, kinky, loathsome sex addicts, unproductive and untrustworthy members of society, suicidally unhappy”¯ (Peddicord 4). Most opponents of homosexuality are true members of Catholic community who deny the civic rights of gays and lesbians in the United States on the basis of Catholic teaching on sexuality.
Nevertheless, many gays and lesbians in the United States join political organization and organize movements to fight for equal rights in job opportunities, health care system, education system, social security coverage, and etc. According to the statistical data, today the majority of Americans support health insurance and social security rights of gays and lesbians (67% and 58% respectively). However, many Americans are still against legal sanctioning of gay and lesbian marriages (58%-35%) and are opposed to adopt the rights for homosexual couples (61%-32%) (Peddicord 28).
The major goal of this paper is to discuss some current and past policies concerning gay and lesbian rights in the United States, and to describe and advocate for a specific policy in the issue area. It is very important to discuss why this policy is necessary and how it would address current problems or inadequacies in relation to gays and lesbians in the USA.
1.1Ā BACKGROUND OF THE ISSUE
It is found that lesbian and gay rights in the United States have been evolved over time, and today they vary on a state basis. It is known that in 2003, sexual acts between individuals of the same sex have been legalized in the United States. However, today family laws and anti-discrimination laws are different in different states. It is found that several states, including Iowa, Maine, Vermont, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C. currently legalized marriage to the same-sex couples ”“ gays and lesbians. Moreover, Maryland does not legalize same-sex marriages but it does recognize same-sex marriages performed in other parts of the world. Additionally, it is found that some states provide the help of civil unions which offer some types of the legal benefits and protections of same-sex marriages in the United States. A. Latham Staples, the Executive director of the Empowering Spirits Foundation, states that today “America is at the turning point”¯ (Empowering Spirits Foundation, New Release, 2008, p.1). He is sure that “the tide is changing in the favor”¯ of gays and lesbians. It is known that the Empowering Spirits Foundation is a national organization which is specially developed to protect the civil rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender. The members of this organization participate in service oriented activities in those communities across the United States which oppose to equal rights of gays and lesbians. The members of this organization try to change relation of those people who oppose equality (Empowering Spirits Foundation, New Release, 2008, p.1).