Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month is celebrated in June of every year in honor of the Stonewall riots in Manhattan that happened five decades ago, which was a pivotal event in the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. On June 28, 1969, the New York City police raided a gay club called Stonewall Inn, and this sparked a riot between the police and the patrons, as well as neighborhood residents, as the police roughly dragged employees and customers out of the bar. This led to protests and clashes with law enforcement that lasted six days. The uprising became a galvanizing force for LGBT political activism and gay rights movement in the US and all over the world.
For decades, the LGBT community has fought tooth and nail for civil and human rights. Over the years, there had been progress – as well as setbacks – for LGBT rights. In 2006, the California legislature was the first to pass a bill allowing same-sex marriage; and in 2008, the California Supreme Court rules that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional. However, in the same year, voters approved of Proposition 8, which makes same-sex marriage illegal. Two years later, on August 4, 2010, a federal judge found Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Finally, on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that all states cannot ban same-sex marriage.
Progress and Setbacks in LGBT Rights
The past couple of years have been a roller coaster ride for the LGBT community in terms of policy changes with regards to workplace discrimination and military enlistment, among others; perhaps more so as the nation transitioned from the Barack Obama administration to Trump’s.
In May 2016, Eric Fanning was confirmed by the Senate to be secretary of the Army, which made him the first openly gay secretary of a US military branch. In June of the same year, the ban on transgender people serving openly in the US military was lifted. This was followed by other government positions being taken by members of the LGBT, such as Kate Brown, who was sworn as governor of Oregon in November 2016 and became the highest-ranking LGBT person elected to office in the United States.
However, in June 2017, the US Department of Defense announced a six-month delay in allowing transgender individuals to enlist in the US military. Almost a month after this announcement, President Donald Trump stated via Twitter, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military…”
Later that year, a federal judge ruled against Trump’s prohibition on transgender individuals to serve in the military. Earlier this year, the Pentagon announced that the first transgender person has signed a contract to join the US military. In March of this year, President Trump withdraws his previous policy but allowed a new policy to take its place, which would likely discriminate most transgender individuals in the military. The new policy disqualified transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria and those who may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery.
LGBT rights continue to be a slippery slope, and with all the progress and the setbacks that we have been seeing in recent years, it is hard to tell what the future holds.
Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.