Gerald MacDonald places his hand over his heart as he and others recite the pledge of allegiance during the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony, July 4, 2015, in Philadelphia. AP/Matt Rourke
Washington, D.C. — (ENEWSPF)–December 9, 2016. Despite several high-profile efforts to codify discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, or LGBTQ, people into law at the state and federal level, momentum is growing for full legal and lived equality for LGBTQ people. Nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans enjoy overwhelming support across the country with cities and municipalities taking the lead on passing equal protections with their jurisdictions.
As these efforts proliferate, allowing for the full scope of protections for LGBTQ Americans in local and state nondiscrimination laws is critical to achieving meaningful equality for all. The Center for American Progress has released a report today offering three main benchmarks that nondiscrimination protections ought to meet in order to ensure all LGBTQ Americans can live and thrive in their cities, states, and nation.
The report is being released in conjunction with a CAP event featuring Delaware Gov Jack Markell (D) to be held at noon today.
“Hundreds of cities, 18 states and D.C. have already passed nondiscrimination protections in order to provide LGBTQ people with the kind of equality in daily life that all people deserve,” said Laura E. Durso, Senior Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at Center for American Progress. “And more bills will come. When crafting that legislation, it is critical to ensure that it is comprehensive, that it ensures parity and equality for LGBTQ people, and that it does not undermine laws protecting others. As those who seek to deny protections and codify discrimination into our laws continue their efforts, it is important that those who seek to fulfill this country’s founding principle of equal protection under the law, do so with these core principles in mind.”
To truly protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination, these laws should:
- Be comprehensive and inclusive in order to ensure that the entire LGBTQ community gains the protections it needs throughout daily life
- Maintain—or, preferably, enhance—civil rights laws for other protected classes, including women, religious minorities, and people of color
- Ensure parity between all protected communities, as no group of people should be singled out for government-sanctioned discrimination through unique exemptions or exclusions
In a related paper also out today, Generation Progress takes a look at how LGBT millennials will benefit from these kinds of comprehensive nondiscrimination protections.
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