The issue of discrimination against gays and lesbians exists in many global societies, including American society. To combat this problem, people are handling the challenges these people face in Congress, legal battles, and street demonstrations. However, it’s not only gays and lesbians that face discrimination based on sexual preferences and sexuality; people classify them together with bisexuals and transgender people, forming the common LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) population. Solving this problem has not been easy as LGBT people still face discrimination regardless of their phase in life.
Severity of this Issue
People against this discrimination discuss it but sometimes don’t understand how severe it is and its effects on the victims. Although the U.S. has made substantial progress over the last ten years, there’s still a lot of legislation missing to protect gays, lesbians, and other LGBT members from any form of discrimination. Considering that out of every four LGBT people, one faces discrimination. It shows that local governments, states, and the federal government must legislate and enforce laws against this vice as soon as possible. The most affected group is gays and lesbians of color. It’s saddening that gays and lesbians of color were more likely to hide their sexual orientation and gender identity from employers since they’re uncertain of the treatment they’ll receive.
How This Discrimination Affects Victims
Wherever individuals face discrimination due to their sexual inclinations and decisions, they’re likely to suffer in different negative ways. It hurts more when this discrimination comes from close friends, family, and other people with whom a victim trusts and has closer emotional attachments. It happens this way after realizing the real sexual orientation of a gay or lesbian close to them but mainly when the victim has been hiding it.
A major effect of this discrimination is that victims suffer income since they might be subjects of losing a job or being demoted in their workplace. Besides, it’s sometimes difficult to access health insurance, making access to health care services expensive, affecting income. In other cases, victims of this form of discrimination feel stigmatized, denying them the confidence to visit health care organizations, limiting their access to health care services.
Gays and lesbians facing discrimination find it difficult to have healthy sexual relationships with a single partner, exposing them to more chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections. These negative effects of discrimination result in the victims abusing drugs out of stressful and depressing situations, further leading to indulgence in other high-risk behaviors, such as unprotected sexual intercourse with different partners.
The Constitution’s Allocation for the Rights of Gays and Lesbians
The longevity of this discrimination is not based on a lack of laws guarding the rights and freedoms of gays and lesbians. However, there’re some gaps that the different government levels can improve to protect them better. The U.S. Constitution provides that every American should get equal protection of the law, as provided by the Fourteenth Amendment. Although its enactment was not meant to protect gays and lesbians, it has been interpreted severally to ensure that even gays and lesbians receive protection like every other American; they should never face discrimination for their sexual preferences.
The First Amendment of the U.S constitution specifically acknowledges the legality of gays and lesbians. This clause grants every American the right and freedom to associate and express themselves to a person of their choice. Therefore, gays and lesbians should not be subject to discrimination for their choice; their actions are within U.S. law.
Countering this Discrimination
With many people assuming it as wrong, gays and lesbians should find measures to ensure they do not suffer severely from discrimination. One way to handle this and prevent stigma is to seek social support. Many people and organizations understand them and their choices. This support works to relieve any negative effects, with time building the victim’s self-belief and confidence.
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