August 05, 2009

Gay Activists: Basic Rights More Important Than Marriage

From the Associated Press through Google News:

Gay marriage and gays in the military may dominate the headlines, but activists in many states say their fight is much more fundamental: basic rights and protections against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation.

Activists from state-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organizations from throughout the U.S. are meeting in Missouri this week to share their efforts to make inroads in state legislatures, municipalities and school districts.

"In Missouri, you can still be fired for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender," A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, Missouri's statewide organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, said Thursday. "Sexual orientation is not a protected class in Missouri."

A spokeswoman for the Missouri Commission on Human Rights confirmed that is the case, saying past efforts to include sexual orientation as a protected class have failed.

Toni Broaddus, executive director of their national alliance, the Equality Federation, said gay marriage has never been the movement's No. 1 priority. Rather, it's about the ability to work, get housing, adopt children, have families and have their partners recognized, she said.

"We just want the rights that everyone else has," she said. "This is about being equal citizens under the law."

Nothing like getting back to the fundamentals, is there. Marriage is the "sexy" issue right now, but before that LGBT people just want to be able to live and work just like anyone else.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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