I am not taking anything for granted. Nevertheless, marriage equality seems inevitable at this point. With even greater certainty it seems that the Supreme Court will rule on this issue, one way or the other — possibly in the next term. The folks who are responsible for this dramatic change, in such a relatively short period of time, are heroes and deserve our respect and admiration.
While marriage equality – and the repeal of DADT – have served as proxies for LGBT rights in general, there remain some items on my homosexual agenda™.
I. ENDA: It is a national disgrace that we can be denied employment, or promotion, or even terminated because of whom we love. The conservative Christians, who still control the GOP, are spared employment discrimination by federal law. Their campaigns against equality are simply outrageous. They perpetuate the mythology of gays as predators of children. Even more outrageous is the fact that Republicans enable these bigots.
II. Preventing License-to-Discriminate Laws: Mississippi has one and this form of discrimination could spread throughout Dixie. Religious freedom does not require intolerance and bigotry to be encoded into civil law. Imagine those same bakers or inn keepers refusing service to an interracial couple based on their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Non-discrimination in public accommodations has been public policy for more than 50 years. In Mississippi, people held slaves and then enacted segregation based upon similar “sincerely held religious beliefs.” It’s just an excuse for bigotry.
III. SBA 8(a) Business Development: We need a rule change at the SBA in order that LGBT owned businesses are considered minority owned and disadvantaged; Legally a “presumed group.” Aside from government contracts and loans, this is the criteria used for supplier diversity by many industry groups. For example, Major League Baseball excludes us form their diversity summit each year. I am disappointed in my own inability to convey the importance of this to groups like HRC. They have a conduit to the administration. I do not. The NGLCC is particularly disappointing in this regard but I blame myself for not persuading them.
There are two reasons that people do not solve a problem. Either they are unaware that the problem exists or they are not sufficiently disturbed to take action to correct it. It’s the second part that seems to be lacking.
IV. It is LGBT: Transgender people have not seen the kind of progress that gays and lesbians have. They need our full support which means inclusion in ENDA and any rule change in SBA-8a.
I am sure that I overlooked some things but this is where I start.