It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over
Hey, gay marriage is nearly in the bag nationwide, and the feds classify violence against us as a hate crime and protect us in various forms of discrimination, so it sounds like we got it all – or soon will.
Ah, but not so fast.
According to a recently released report compiled by a number of advocacy groups, rampant discrimination against gays is still alive and well in the U.S. Fewer than half the states have laws that protect gays from bullying in schools or discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations like restaurants and stores. Hey, wearing a wedding ring as a gay man can get you legally fired in 29 states; and many companies, even under Obamacare, are not mandated to provide health insurance to SS partners – and their children.
I remember years ago my partner and I, no flaming queens, entered a crowded Italian restaurant on very str8 laced suburban Staten Island where we lived (and paid taxes), grabbed a table and waited over half an hour with no one even saying a peep to us. We were the only two men in the place and it became evident what was really going on. My other half, always the grumbling type who never grumbled to the right people, didn’t like it when I ordered him to get up and follow me out as I shouted so everybody in the place who had been side-eyeing us up to now had something to look at: “Our money is as good as any body’s else’s!”
Even in the marriage arena, many state legislators are afoot to pass laws that would permit businesses in the wedding game like florists, caterers and photographers to not have to serve gay clients if they felt it was violating their religious beliefs. (But it’s okay to take those federal and state business tax deductions, huh, buddy?)
But far more insidious is the veiled or outright hatred individuals or groups harbor for folks who are different – like us. That’s something you can never legislate away and, no matter how enlightened or inclusive our society may become, will ever go away.
So it ain’t over til it’s over – but will it ever be?