New Issues Already?
It was less than a month ago that we saw the landmark passage of marriage equality. People worldwide rejoiced, and couples rushed out to get marriage licenses and let their love be legally recognized by the state, regardless of where they live.
While marriage is now a nation wide guarantee, what happens after?
Well, now is when it depends on where you live.
If you live in a state like Maryland, Colorado, or California, chances are you got married one day and came home to the apartment you’ve been living in with your now-spouse for a while. You’d go to work the next day maybe to congratulations by your co-workers and boss, maybe to some odd looks, but you’d have a normal day. And life would go on. In California, you might adopt a child. In Maryland, a hate crime against you would be persecuted. And, in Colorado, if you had a child who was bullied based on their sexual orientation or sexual identity they would be protected under state law.
Of the 50 states in the U.S.A., you can live in 17 of them and know that you are protected against discrimination no matter what your sexual orientation or gender identity is.
Another 13 or so states have at least some sort of law in play to protect employment discrimination based purely on sexual orientation. Unfortunately, some of these these still do have barriers against adoption and doesn’t include transgender-inclusive health benefits, or often even anti-bullying laws that address discrimination against students based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
30 or so states with some form of law prohibiting discrimination. 50 states in total…what happens when two men marry in one of those other 20?
In Florida, for example, your happy day could be turned over when you come to work to a pink slip on your desk, and then come home to an eviction notice. Around 40% of states have no protection for individuals facing workplace, school, or public discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Which brings about the importance of the Equality Act.
The Equality Act would bring what it says- EQUALITY. It would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the extensive list of things already protected by most workplace harassment and other discrimination protection laws already in place.
This measure was introduced today during a press conference by its sponsors, two democratic congress members.