Tag Archives: Gay Rights

Census 2020: Count — Don’t Closet — LGBTQ Americans

After floating the idea in an initial draft, the US Census Bureau recently announced that the 2020 census would not include the option for LGBTQ persons to self-identify. This decision has rightly been met with outrage, because it denies lawmakers and their respective constituents access to data that would be used to shape policy and allow LGBTQ people access to opportunities and resources they’ve been denied for decades.

Although some data on same-sex couples has been available since the 1990 census, there still lacks a definitive figure assessing the numbers and geographic distribution of LGBTQ-identifying Americans. This is odd, given that numerous minority groups — ranging from ethnic and racial minorities to Americans with disabilities — are able to self-identify on the form, giving lawmakers visibility into their communities.

The 2010 census did not include an opportunity for participants to identify as LGBTQ, which was unsurprising, given the cultural and political stances on gay rights and marriage at that time. Both major-party candidates opposed same-sex marriage during the 2008 election cycle, and a select few states had legalized such marriages at that point. Since 2010, however, LGBTQ persons have cumulatively — despite opposition from religious and “traditional” lawmakers — made great strides in the quest for equality and visibility on a national level. By 2020, with national marriage equality a reality, and a recent ruling deeming that LGBTQ identity is a protected class under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that sense of liberation should empower more LGBTQpersons than ever before to self-identify on the census and provide the most accurate count of LGBTQ Americans to date.

Trump’s election is no blow to gay rights

Judging by recent headlines, President-elect Trump is poised to rollback LGBT rights. “These Are the LGBT Rights that Trump Could Start Reversing,” BuzzFeed proclaims in its typical clickbait fashion. “Anti-LGBT groups are absolutely giddy about a Trump presidency,” ThinkProgress reports with the logical fallacy of guilt by association. Gays should ignore such scaremongering: A Trump administration will likely be the most welcoming to LGBT people in United States history.

First, on the question of gay marriage, Trump told “60 Minutes” on Sunday that the issue is “settled.” Some pundits have pointed out that one candidate on his Supreme Court shortlist, former Alabama Attorney General William Pryor, is fervently anti-gay.

But even in the worst-case scenario that Pryor is picked and confirmed as the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement, his one vote could not turn the tide on gay marriage. It’s unlikely the Supreme Court would accept a challenge case to Obergefell v. Hodges considering how popular gay marriage now is, with 61 percent of Americans approving of the institution.

Continue reading at The Washington Examiner.

“African governments: just let gays live”

I was amazed reading Patrick’s story few weeks ago on one of the social media networks. He figured out he was gay at 13, and genuinely thought he was the only boy on the planet who was wired to like other boys.

His whole life, he had been taught that every boy will inevitably start liking girls when they hit puberty. His parents, teachers, sexual education classes, all drilled into his mind this notion that it was only a matter of time until he started getting tingly feelings around girls. So, he waited.

It never happened. His male friends started talking about girls or female celebrities they found attractive. These conversations left him indifferent. He wondered whether he was just a late bloomer or if there was something wrong with him. Then someone brought up the word ‘gay’ (which we’d been using for years as an insult without knowing what it meant) and someone mentioned something about men who are attracted to men. That single comment rocked his entire world. That’s when he realized he had been getting those tingly feelings, except he had been feeling them around boys for a long time.

Read the rest on Your Commonwealth here.