There is a major dispute today in America with everything pertaining to gays; gay rights, gay culture, gay marriage, gays in the church, or even saying the word gay. It seems to be one of the most touchy issues of today s society; considering it is one of the most argumentative problems. The discrimination of gays is at an all time high, and it is said to be equivalent to the discrimination of blacks. With more and more people in America acknowledging the views and lifestyles of gay individuals, there will always be the other side of the argument who are finding more and more reasons to dislike and reject them. Weather you accept it or not; Gays are being discriminated against, there are hate crimes being committed, and many prejudice people amongst us in this world. It s about time to join together and solve this social issue, considering the fact that ignoring it will not make it go away. Effectively tackling homophobia means confronting prejudicial attitudes and discrimination in every community. Political leaders, police forces, health services, broadcasters and employers can all positively influence the way that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are treated and considered.
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Homophobia can be defined as, negative feelings or attitudes towards non-heterosexual behavior. There are many factors that can cause a person to be homophobic. Research suggests that identity, relationships and community, can lead to homophobic behavior and is the origin of discrimination. Homophobia manifests itself in different forms, for example homophobic jokes, physical attacks, and discrimination in the workplace. Research shows that the most common reasons for homophobia include: Having strong religious beliefs that disapprove of sex and/or homosexuality, having little/no social contact with lesbian and gay people, and reporting no homosexual
experiences or feelings. Such a great amount of generated animosity towards a group of people strictly based upon sexual orientation; doesn t seem fair does it? Much of the general public isn t aware of the fact that some people take situations into their own hands, in a pathetic attempt to try to mend the homosexual issue; by committing viscous hate crimes against innocent people. Yet not much is ever reported about hate crimes.
A hate crime is a crime motivated by racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, or other prejudice. Under federal hate crime laws, sexual orientation and gender identity, however, are not protected. Since 2005, a 24 percent increase was noted in crimes committed against people who are believed to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Many states do not file reports on violence committed against someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Most of the recent examples of hate crimes committed against LGBT individuals have not been advertized on the news to the same extent as other heinous crimes are. This shows the need for action on the federal hate crimes legislation by Congress and the Obama administration.
Regardless of our sexual orientation, every single person is at risk for emotional or psychological difficulties generating from a variety of issues. For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, the sources of mental distress are, unmistakably, far more persistent. LGBT people not only have to come to terms with their own sexuality or gender, but they have to cope with the often homophobic attitudes and misunderstandings of those around them. Thus, this is why they are at much greater risk of developing mental health issues. The first approach we need to take is educating society. The Universal Almanac, listed a total of 4,960 completed suicides among US youth aged 15 to 24 years of age in 1993. That number had significantly increased since then. Researchers, show that one-third of all teenagers who commit suicide are gay. This statistic is vastly staggering because, according to the Kinsey Report, gay teens only comprise one-tenth of the teen population. In other words, they are 300 percent more likely to kill themselves than heterosexual youth. A study by Dr. Michael P. Marshal, of the University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center, revealed that LGBT teens are 190 percent more likely to use drugs and alcohol than are heterosexual teens. Michael Marshal, who led the University of Pittsburgh study on alcohol and drug use among LGBT teens, says It is important to remember that the vast majority of gay youth are happy and healthy, despite the stressors of living in a violent, homophobic society,
Now, imagine if we could hand the world to our youth in a few decades; A world where children would grow up accepting homosexuals. Ideally, children would become aware of their own homosexuality or bisexual orientation, and they would accept it as a normal demeanor or behavior. They would be substantially less inclined to commit suicide, and self medicate with alcohol and drugs abuse.
Taking a hold of this issue all begins with educating society, especially our youth. Sex Education programs that are introduced in elementary schools across the US, should initiate homosexuality and explain that it is normal. The National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union and a powerful voice in American education, adopted a resolution urging schools to develop activities and programs that “increase acceptance of and sensitivity to” diverse groups, including homosexuals. This will contribute to lowering the teen suicide rate in gay teens. It will also reassure gay teens, so they know that they don’t have to feel distressed about the nature of their sexuality. And be able to focus on more important things that will help them to improve their lives to come. These are our children of the future, regardless of sexuality. Teaching homosexuality in schools will help children to understand and be more open to homosexuality in general; the flip side to this is getting parents to approve to this type of thing. Many parents feel very strongly about avoiding the subject all together and would never allow this. Mrs. Hoffman, an infuriated parent makes the statement “I am furious and outraged that tax dollars are being spent to promote a lifestyle that if embraced will cut our son’s life in half,” This is a perfect example of just how strongly parents really feel about their kids becoming educated about LBGT s.
Gay people do live on the same planet with everybody else; and before these people were gay adults, they were gay kids. Instead of pretending that it doesn’t exist, let’s lay some mainstream guidelines on the table, just like we give all of our other children.
In the modern day world, we as a society have stood back and watched constant technological advances that seem to be infinite in change. Our country often brags of equality and equal opportunity without truly having reached it. For a society that shows such great honor in being so exceptional in intellect, technology and equality we still show such disfavor against gay people and their right to marriage. A big issue in the United States is same-sex marriage, many are against it many are for it. There are both positive and negative reasons as to why society thinks the government should make it legal or illegal. What some people don t take the time to become aware of is that the only thing that truly matters in a marriage is unconditional love. Marriage is defined as a commitment between two people that love each other and want to share the rest of their lives with one another; therefore it shouldn t matter the gender that corresponds with the couple. So why is this still a dire issue?
There are two kinds of marriages, they are called civil and religious marriages. Throughout the century marriage has altered itself in many ways. Robinson states, In the early part of the 19th century, marriage was a legally sanctified contract of mutual support between two consenting non-Afro-American adults of opposite gender . As the years have gone by the laws for marriage become increasingly more tolerant. They finally began allowing people of different races to marry. In 2000, Vermont began allowing same-sex civil unions granting them the same rights as heterosexual couples. For these unions to be accepted in other states homosexuals will have to fight just like the others have fought the many many years ago. The meaning of marriage has very much so evolved over the years. People now don t follow the traditional words till death do us part . Couples now move in together first and undergo trial and error periods before they even consider marriage, which was looked down upon before. Many statistics show that many women are now single moms without ever being married. The divorce rate is considerably higher than it has ever been. By allowing same-sex marriage it doesn t necessarily change anything in opposite-sex marriage. Robinson states, The rights to marry the person that you love, have made a commitment to and wish to live with for the rest of your life is a foundational human right. Gay marriage should not change the meaning of marriage or our view to society. The many rights of same-sex couples will acquire if same-sex marriage is legalized. Same-sex couples will expect the same rights that heterosexual couples have. There are well over 100 legal rights for married couples. If an emergency were to occur, such as a health crisis between gay couples, they have no say so in any of the healthcare decisions of their partner. Same-sex couples have absolutely no legal right no matter how long they have been together. Demian states, some of the benefits same-sex couples could receive if married:
Automatic Assumption of Spouse s Pension
Automatic Housing Lease Transfer
Bereavement Leave (offered by some employers)
And so on down the list. Most same sex couples condole the right to these benefits in ongoing fights with the government and law; they just want to be considered equal. Many people who speak up on the issue of gay marriage feel this would help them achieve some of that equal ness .
Same-sex marriage could also have many positive effects on the community. The statistics of Sexually Transmitted Diseases would decrease, because homosexuals would be interested in long-term relationships and be committed to one person. Sexually transmitted diseases tend to be higher in gay men than in lesbians. Making same-sex marriage legal will help them stay in a committed relationship while at the same time, not forcing them to give up their type of lifestyle. The STD rate is high among the gay community. But legalizing gay marriage could lover the trend of these rates potentially.
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