Last blog I gave a basic history on the fight for same-sex marriage, including court cases and important laws passed either in favor of or against same-sex marriage. This week, I want to look at what is going on today with this fight. What is the LGBT community doing to fight for what they believe is right, and what are some issues that they face? Mainly, what are they doing to be treated equally?
Today, more than 500 organizations are fighting for equal rights for the LGBT people. Some of these organizations work to change laws and policies through involvement in court cases, lobbying, and elections. They work to change these policies for now, but also for future generations. Others of these organizations work to help educate the American public and change the opinions and attitudes the public has towards homosexuality and same-sex marriage. This side of the organizations kind of goes along with the first, because if the public’s opinion changes, more policies and laws will begin to fit the opinion of the public. Still other organizations work with the LGBT people directly, and focus on helping those who have been hurt by prejudice, inequality, or even things like bullying. All of these organizations work together to create a better, safer environment for the LGBT community, for both now and in the future.
All over the United States there are youth movements to help LGBT people reach equality. Many of these movements are online, to create national support. An example of this is through The Center: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center. This center is all online, but it offers support systems and ways to get involved to take action and strive for equality. They offer YO! (Youth Organization) which is where youth can get involved through an online discussion two hours weekly. There are numerous other similar movements like YO!, and also online pledges that youth, both LGBT and heterosexual, can take. In addition to these national movements, there are an incredible amount of local organizations for youth to get involved in. In fact, our very own Penn State has such an organization, as do most other college campuses and high schools.
On the federal government:
As I stated last blog, the federal government technically holds that marriage is between a man and woman, but does not require any state to hold that view, and has not made any laws upholding that view. What’s pretty cool for the LGBT community is that President Barack Obama has publicly endorsed same-sex marriage, stating “It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Not only that, but on November 6th 2012, Tammy Baldwin, a Democratic congresswoman from Wisconsin became the first openly gay politician elected to the Senate. An even bigger breakthrough occurred on Election Day, when gay marriage was approved in a popular vote for the first time. Clearly, the federal government is making strides in approving of gay marriage.
With all of this support, why is it so difficult?
You would think that with all of this support and all of these organizations, equality would have been reached and same-sex marriage would be legal. However, these organizations face some issues. Namely, the issue is finances. As with most organizations, especially during this economic time, LGBT communities have a hard time collecting revenue for their organizations. However, it is almost harder for these organizations, as the organizations are in place to gain support, and without the support in the first place, where do you find the income? Often, they end up with most of their finances coming from their own community, which in the long run, isn’t what they need. However, excitedly enough, revenue from 2011 to 2012 went up, which demonstrates that they are only getting closer to achieving their goal.
There are movements all across the United States to promote equality for LGBTs and to therefore legalize same-sex marriage. These movements come a little bit farther every day, and will hopefully achieve their goal in the near future.