START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Here is Our LGBT Rights Wishlist for 2014

Here is Our LGBT Rights Wishlist for 2014

While 2013 saw some amazing advances for LGBT rights, we’re hoping 2014 can be even better. Here are just some of the important LGBT rights victories we’ll be looking for in the new year.

1. Stopping Anti-LGBT Employment Discrimination

We scored a small victory this year when for the first time in years the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed the US Senate in a bipartisan vote.

ENDA would make it illegal to make employment decisions, like hiring, firing or even promoting, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill carries broad exemptions for religious institutions and, in some cases, small businesses. Its purpose is to remedy the fact that in a majority of states it is still legal under state law to fire someone for being trans, and in a number states sexual orientation workplace discrimination is still also legal.

If the bill can be brought before the United States House, it is widely believed it has the chance for a significant vote — the amount of support for the bill isn’t yet obvious but we do know that there are a number of moderate Republicans who, like their voting base, find the bill to be a matter of basic civil rights.

Unfortunately, House Speaker John Bohner opposes the bill and has not yet indicated whether he will allow the bill to come for a floor vote. Securing a vote on ENDA will be vital work in 2014 to take America one step closer to fairness in the workplace.

2. Overturning DOMA Section 2

In 2013, we saw the fall of DOMA Section 3, the part of the Defense of Marriage Act that banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Did you know that part of DOMA is still in force, though?

In essence, DOMA Section 2 prevents one state from being forced to recognize a same-sex marriage that was conducted in another state. This might sound like a good idea for preserving state autonomy. However,  in reality it means that when same-sex couples travel from one state to another they can go from being married, to having no legal recognition at all, to being married again. Obviously, this carries a number of problems, not least of which centers around emergency care should one spouse fall ill.

There are a couple of ongoing lawsuits that tackle DOMA Section 2, but action from Congress would be preferable. The federal Respect for Marriage Act could repeal DOMA Section 2, and so laying the groundwork for a repeal will be important during 2014.

3. Making LGBT Rights a Visible Issue During the Winter Olympics

Russia is set to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi between the February 6-23, 2014. Russia has become notorious for its human rights crackdown, and in particular its “gay propaganda” law that makes it illegal to promote LGBT rights in the public square.

The IOC has said it is confident that the games will not pose a risk to LGB athletes, even though Russian authorities have made it quite clear the ban will still be in place during the Winter Olympics.

President Obama won’t be attending the games and is instead sending a delegation headed by three openly gay athletes, something that has been seen as a subtle protest. Meanwhile, the IOC itself has said that any athletes making political statements will face sanction. All the same, some are planning to protest.

A key moment in 2014 will be using the Olympics as a vehicle to draw attention to Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law and, if at all possible, trying to affect lasting change.

4. Expanding LGBT Student Rights

This year California made history by passing a law to ensure that trans students are allowed the dignity they deserve and the right to use the facilities that align with their stated gender and not their biological sex. An effort is now underway to ensure that other states adopt similar laws.

In a broader sense, the federal Student Non Discrimination Act may also feature in 2014. The bill would reinforce that it is illegal to deny all students their constitutional rights and would set out specific frameworks and anti-bullying policies, plugging gaps in state level policies that continue to leave LGBT kids vulnerable. An amended version might also specifically tackle the issue of cyberbullying.

5. Preventing Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Going into Force

Uganda’s parliament recently passed what President Obama has called the “odious” anti-homosexuality bill. While the full text of the bill still hasn’t been released, we know that the bill doesn’t contain the “kill the gays” provision that made it world infamous. Nevertheless, the bill would imprison so-called “repeat offenders,” potentially for a life term. It would also mandate prison for those who know a gay person and fail to inform the authorities.

While Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni doesn’t technically have veto power, he does have the authority to return the bill to parliament indefinitely and Museveni has indicated that he won’t sign the bill without studying it carefully. There’s nothing to study though; the bill is terrible. If we can defeat this bill in the next month it would be a massive win to kick off the new year. You can read more about the law and sign our Care2 action against the bill here.

It is worth mentioning that Nigeria looks set to pass a similar “jail the gays” bill, while a number of countries in North Africa continue to pursue greater criminalization of LGBT people. This will also be a cause for concern — but also a chance for positive action too.

6. Continuing Our Marriage Equality Victories

In 2014, we will see a lot of movement toward more states legalizing marriage equality. Ohio, for instance, is already gearing up to repeal its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage via a ballot initiative, an effort that at the time of writing seems to have a fair chance of succeeding.

Other states will be tougher to win over, but with Utah currently allowing same-sex marriages and the massive gains we saw in 2013, marriage equality advocates are hoping to continue that momentum and bring equality to many more parts of the United States.

So to all here’s wishing you a Happy New Year, and another 12 months of LGBT rights successes!

Read more: , , , , , , ,

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

71 comments

+ add your own
10:31AM PST on Jan 2, 2014

[pt3] Democrats don't control the Government-" - Your rights are not being trampled on. Nothing bad will happen to you if gay people can marry. No one will make YOU have a gay marriage, or try to take away your marriage from you or deny you any rights at all. You have absolutely no reason to keep standing in the way of progress for others.

And finally: "My last wish is for the Gay marriage advocates to experience the sting of a narrow defeat for a change when they try to interfere in States where Gay marriage is not welcome!" - How bitter and callous. Do you think gay people haven't already experienced disappointment after disappointment, our whole lives? I waited 14 years to be allowed to marry my partner. I think we have experienced enough defeat; it's time for us to succeed now, and may our successes continue through 2014 and beyond~!

10:31AM PST on Jan 2, 2014

[pt 2]great lengths to make their body match their gender identity. Years of hormone therapy plus major operations, even knowing that it will never be "perfect", and that if you don't "pass" easily you could be bullied, mocked, even assaulted. Anyone who has willingly gone through all of that is not just trying to get into the other gender's bathrooms/dorms/locker room to perv at them.


"4. Repeal of same sex marriage and replace it with full benefits for same sex partners"

No. Marriage is not inherently a religious institution. Atheists marry all the time. Churches may make their own decisions about whom they will marry, of course, but those of us who want to marry in a registry office like any other couple should be allowed to. Separate but equal is never ever truly equal.

"5. DOMA section 2 strengthened- In States where Gay marriage is illegal it should remain so!
The States don't need big brother demanding compliance when the people have said NO!
Congress and the President, BUTT OUT!"

The fight for equality doesn't stop at state borders. If it is necessary to go to a higher point to ensure that LGBT Americans have the same rights as their fellow straight peers, then so be it. YOUR rights are not being altered by the rights of gay people being actualized, so I put your own words back to you: butt out.

"The easy States to pass Gay marriage is over- It won't be so easy to trample on the rights of traditional marriage folks in the remaining States- where Dem

10:30AM PST on Jan 2, 2014

Joseph B, sigh. I'm going to break down your post:

"1. Tolerance for those that do not believe in the Gay lifestyle and tolerance for those sincerely held beliefs!" - We do not have to tolerate people who actively try to deny us our rights. Although you have the freedom to speak out about how you feel towards us, we have the equal right to vocalize how unacceptable we find your words and actions against us. PS: There is no "gay lifestyle". My life as a gay person is fundamentally no different to any other couple beyond being the same gender.

"2. No hate mongering and an end to bigotry against Christians
for opposing the Gay Lifestyle!" - Again, it is not bigotry to speak out against oppression and hate-speech. When you tell a person that they are sick and/or should be denied rights because of who they are, you should not expect freedom from retaliation from that group. Hate breeds hate. Do not attack people and then cry that they are the bigots for being upset about it.

"3. Repeal of laws saying any sex can use any bathroom they feel like using depending if they feel like a man one day and a woman the next!
Unless you don't mind a male setting on the stool next to you in a woman's bathroom?"

This law is controversial, yes, but you clearly do not understand transgender issues at all. Transgender people feel that they have the wrong body. It isn't a feeling that changes day to day or on a whim. It is a permanent state, and individuals who experience it will go to

10:18AM PST on Jan 2, 2014

Here's another Christian, agreeing with Mark V. that there's clear and convincing theology and Biblical evidence that God loves LGBTQI people just as much as the rest of us, wants all of us to live full and equal lives with homes and families (not living in celibacy if we're attracted to our own gender). God created human beings with varied sexual orientations and gender identities--there's a reason for diversity, Joseph B., and it's not so that we can oppress some members of the Church or of society, it's so that we can be stronger and better because of the variety!

I'm just a middle-aged cis-gender mom in Canada, married for 34 years, but I want to wish all the LGBT people in the world good things for 2014, and always. And Sharon P. not everyone shows good taste, its true--but that doesn't take away their rights. Lesbians can be quite out of order too, you know...

9:22AM PST on Jan 2, 2014

Joseph B. Bigotry wrapped in the Bible is still bigotry. The Bible is ambiguous at best on the subject of homosexuality; there are 6 mentions in the entire Bible, and the meaning behind the original intent is not what popular culture thinks it is. As a fellow Christian, I respond to your list of wishes with a simple and heart felt "No." Your bad scholarship deserves no protection, and your supposed divine support is irrelevant; this is not a theocracy. We aren't asking you to change, just get out of the way. It is time for bigotry to go into the closet.

9:04AM PST on Jan 2, 2014

Joseph B, so intolerance is OK, as long as it's only those who disagree with the "gay lifestyle" (whatever that is) who are intolerant. Bigotry is OK as long as it's only christians who are bigots. Inequality is OK as long as it's only gay people who are treated unfairly.

You are wrong. Same sex marriage is welcome is EVERY state!!!

7:37PM PST on Jan 1, 2014

My wish List for 2014
1. Tolerance for those that do not believe in the Gay lifestyle and tolerance for those sincerely held beliefs!
2. No hate mongering and an end to bigotry against Christians
for opposing the Gay Lifestyle!
3. Repeal of laws saying any sex can use any bathroom they feel like using depending if they feel like a man one day and a woman the next!
Unless you don't mind a male setting on the stool next to you in a woman's bathroom?
4. Repeal of same sex marriage and replace it with full benefits for same sex partners-
5. DOMA section 2 strengthened- In States where Gay marriage is illegal it should remain so!
The States don't need big brother demanding compliance when the people have said NO!
Congress and the President, BUTT OUT!

The easy States to pass Gay marriage is over- It won't be so easy to trample on the rights of traditional marriage folks in the remaining States- where Democrats don't control the Government-
My last wish is for the Gay marriage advocates to experience the sting of a narrow defeat for a change when they try to interfere in States where Gay marriage is not welcome!

11:37PM PST on Dec 31, 2013

My additional wishes for 2014:
7) further work dealing with the problem of queer and trans* youth homelessness - LGBT+ youth are about 5 times as likely to be homeless as our cishet peers, largely as a result of family rejection (eg, your parents kicked you out, or you ran away because of their attitudes) and the fact that many homeless shelters are religiously affiliated and can get very conservative
8) immigration reform. This is an LGBT+ issue because current laws disproportionately affect queer and trans* undocumented immigrants (eg, not having your family recognized for the purposes of getting a visa, having even more difficulty acquiring an ID because your sex/gender on different documents doesn't match, extra harassment from border patrol officers, etc)

6:09AM PST on Dec 31, 2013

ty

1:53PM PST on Dec 30, 2013

i got a better idea, get lost

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

laugh While you Still can perverts I'll be the One laughing from Paradise while your skin is being flayed…

The Democrat ruling class war on our children has produced this federal governments 100+ Trillion dollar…

meet our writers

Steve Williams Steve Williams is a passionate supporter of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) rights, human... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.