The LGBT Community Deserves Anti-Discrimation Laws

Ellie McFarland | @el_farawayland

Soon, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not gay/bi and transgender/transexual individuals will receive the same protections as everyone else covered under anti-discrimination law. LGBT status would function just like race, sex, religion, and national origin already do. If this decision passes, housing, employment, and service discrimination would become illegal nationwide. Sexuality, like race and gender, is an immutable aspect of a person’s character and ought to, therefore, have the same protections.

Ideal Anti-Discrimination Laws

Firstly, it is worth noting that these anti-discrimination laws should not exist in the first place. They are a hindrance to nearly every part of the First Amendment, specifically desecrating freedom of association. In a perfect world, no group, no characteristic would have any legal protection from the threat of a private business kicking them out.

However, we don’t live in a perfect world. In fact, the U.S. government is quite broken in this respect. There exists in the first place piles of anti-discrimination legislation which only hurts the rights of private business owners. But this legislation’s existence is hardly even secondary when considering the issue of LGBT anti-discrimination laws.

A Temporary Means of Equality

Unless the conversation is about anti-discrimination laws in general, it has to operate in the sphere of precedent and intention. Race, ability, sex, religion, and national origin all receive protection from anti-discrimination laws. This is because these are all inherent and unchangeable aspects of a person that others still discriminate against them for.

The reason there are no provisions for behavior is that we can choose whether or not we are disruptive or cruel. Uncontroversially, business owners can kick people out if they are loud or rude to staff. There also exist no provisions for things like hair color, eye color, or fashion sense because people do not commonly receive hate on those grounds.

The criteria for a characteristic to merit anti-discrimination legislation are clear. It must be both an uncontrollable aspect and a characteristic for which people actually discriminate against others. Given these grounds, there is absolutely no reason to hold the LGBT community exempt from anti-discrimination laws. It has been proven time and time again that being gay and trans are both genetic, or at the very least, are not choices. Further, it is undeniable that gay, bisexual, and trans people face some discrimination, even in the West.  

LGBT Discrimination

In 2017 in America alone, individuals committed 1338 hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation or status as a trans person. On top of that, there are cases that make the news on a fairly regular basis about gay or trans people being denied service. Because of the anti-discrimination laws for other characteristics, we see very few examples of restaurants or hair salons denying black people, baptists, or women. The world generally feels like a safer place when there is no fear of persecution or petty denial based on fixed characteristics.

If we are to afford these comforts on the basis of sex, race, creed, or anything else, it is unfair to deny these same things to the LGBT community. Gay marriage became legal in 2015, nearly four years ago. It was legalized on the basis of its equality to heterosexual marriage. This is the same way interracial marriage was legitimized. Again, in the same way, the legalization of interracial marriage did not suddenly bring about the equality of black and white people. It took nearly two decades of legislation and lobbying to achieve the type of legal protection people desired.

End the Double Standard

Although these laws are needless and counterproductive in the first place, they do in fact exist. They exist to protect people from unreasonable discrimination and to allow communities to prosper. Because of this, it is nothing but irresponsible to ignore groups at the same risk. To fight the inclusion of the LGBT community into anti-discrimination legislation to maintain any principle is to ignore the practicality of such a move.

The fight to repeal all anti-discrimination legislation is not popular, but at least it is a fight with sound logic. At least it doesn’t dismiss the struggle of an entire group and the intention of an entire branch of laws. Simply put, if the Supreme Court excludes the LGBT community, it will address no real problem. Instead, it will only further illustrate the community’s alienation within the legal system.

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