The Right to Life
Following Argentina’s Lead
Yet surveying the various panel discussions left me confused. Gay people were once policed as criminal subversives, depicted in the popular culture as deviants, and pathologized by the medical establishment as mentally ill. Now most of America views homosexuality as benign. Only 30 years ago, 57 percent of Americans believed consensual gay sex should be illegal. Today, same-sex marriage has been achieved nationally, gays can serve openly in the military, and most gay people live in states that protect them from discrimination. An openly gay man is running a serious campaign for president and his homosexuality is considered immaterial, if not an advantage that distinguishes him from a crowded field. According to the Pew Research Center , 70 percent of Americans say homosexuality should be accepted, an all-time high.
W e have a US president who supports gay marriage, and now a pope who, if not exactly signing up to equality for all, is at least starting to talk in language less inflammatory than his predecessor. Then he went on to criticise the gay "lobby" and said he wasn't going to break with the catechism that said "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered". Still, for a brief moment it looked like a minor breakthrough. Then you weigh it against a raft of anti-homosexuality legislation that is coming into force in countries across the world. In Russia, gay teenagers are being tortured and forcibly outed on the internet against a backdrop of laws that look completely out of step with the rest of Europe. In what is being described as rolling the "status of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people back to the Stalin era", President Putin has passed a number of anti-gay laws, including legislation that punishes people and groups that distribute information considered "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations". The country also now has powers to arrest and detain foreign citizens believe to be gay, or "pro-gay". It has led to the boycott of Russian vodka brands by gay bars and clubs in solidarity , started by writer and activist Dan Savage and taken up by bars in London.
While the United States Supreme Court has legalized many LGBT rights, they continue to vary by jurisdiction , and discrimination in jobs and housing is still legal in most states. The Equality Act , which is currently proposed in the United States Congress , would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity nationwide. Since June 26, , sexual activity between consenting adults and adolescents of a close age of the same sex has been legal nationwide, pursuant to the U. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. The United States has no federal law outlawing discrimination nationwide other than from federal executive orders which have a more limited scope than from protections through federal legislation. This leaves residents of some states unprotected against discrimination in employment, housing, and private or public services. LGBT rights -related laws regarding family and anti-discrimination still vary by state. In four landmark rulings between the years and , the Supreme Court invalidated a state law banning protected class recognition based upon homosexuality , struck down sodomy laws nationwide, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act , and made same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Twenty-two states plus Washington, D. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of