• Camryn Chasas

LGBTQ Rights: Through the Decade

Over the decade every day, something in the U.S has occured that benefits the LGBT+ community. LGBT rights have changed over the course of the decade, making them more beneficial and equal than they have ever been before. The rights have evolved into much better laws and values than they have been. For example, The United States Military had excluded gay men, bisexuals, and lesbians from joining the service. In 1993 the United States Congress passed a law and President Bill Clinton signed instituting the policy commonly known as “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). This law allowed people of the sexual orientation of gay, bisexual, and lesbian, to serve their country as long as they did not reveal this information to anyone. “I don’t see why it was ever a problem for people who identify as part of the LGBT community to be in the U.S Military,” Kyara Gallegos (9) said. People around the world face violence, inequality, sometimes torture, and even execution because of who they love, how they look, or who they are. Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of our world. Human Rights Watch works for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender peoples' rights.

“I believe that everyone has a chance to do something no matter what their sexual orientation is,” Jasmin Martinez-Nava(9) said.

We document and expose abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity worldwide, including torture, killings, executions, discrimination in health, jobs, housing, abuses against children, and denial of family rights. There are plenty more incidents, but these are some of the main ones that have been documented. Over the decade and past decades, we have had inspirational people come and go.

“I think a big help to society today is Ellen DeGeneres. She’s an amazing person, that has honestly become a role model for a lot of people,” Alex Ikner (9) said.

Ellen DeGeneres came out of the closet live on her Sitcom “Ellen” in 1996. When she had first come out everyone was shocked. When DeGeneres had gotten married to Portia De Rossi, their wedding photos were everywhere. DeGeneres was beaming in a white suit and holding hands with De Rossi, the very picture of the princess bride so many young girls dream of being one day. It was a cultural touchstone and Dietram Scheufele, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin had said it was neither the first nor the last time DeGeneres has played that role.

Strides have been made this decade that have made huge changes in society’s reception of the LGBT+ community. For example, in 2016, gay marriage was legalized on a national level. Since then, Pride Festivals have become much more prominent and people of different sexualities and gender identities have become much more accepted in public roles. Overall, this decade has been a positive time for the LGBT+ community to fight for the rights they deserve.

So to wrap things up; Over this decade, a lot of things have changed and evolved into much better things than they have been, which is very good and will continue to grow.

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