Two years after striking down DOMA, the U.S. Supreme Court is once again set to issue a ruling on same-sex marriage. If everything goes as expected and the Court lifts the remaining state bans on same-sex marriage, it will make history. But it won’t be the end of the fight for equality.
In fact, here are five reasons why achieving marriage equality is only the beginning of the end…
More than half (29 total) of the states lack laws banning sexual orientation discrimination, and even more (32) don’t prohibit it when it comes to gender identity. And (thanks, Republican Congress!) there is no federal statute either. What does this mean exactly? In a nutshell: That there some states where gay people can both get married and be fired.
Conversion therapy clinics
States are finally tackling the psychological abuse known as conversion or reparative therapy. California, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. have all outlawed the practice. But we still have light years to get rid of this stain on society. In the majority of states, conversion therapy is not only legal, but regularly practiced.
Hate crime laws
Hate crime laws enhance penalties for crimes motivated by animus. There are currently 14 states with hate crime laws that don’t include sexual orientation or gender identity is such laws, and six states without any such protects at all.
That ban on blood donations
The FDA took a small step towards treating donors equally last year when it announced it would be lifting the lifelong ban, issuing “updated” guidelines. This year, you may done provided you abstain from sex for at least a year. So, basically, the lifelong ban stays in place.
There’s a common misconception that gay people make more money. But studies show otherwise. A 2013 Gallup survey found that LGBT adults actually earn less than the population at large. 35 percent of LGBT adults reported annual incomes below $24,000, compared to 24 percent of the general population. On top of that, 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT; same-sex couples raising children are more likely to be poor than opposite sex couples with children; LGBT seniors are poorer on average than straight seniors; and transgender Americans face double the unemployment rate.
Let’s get to work!