closing Guantánamo Bay-January 24,  2009

We have seen  token measures toward the GLBT
community such  as:

- Officials: Obama administration to reverse Bush
stance on gay  rights at UN on March 17, 2009
- Obama picks openly gay man to head Office of
National AIDS  Policy on February 26, 2009
- Federal immigration bill introduced.  Saying that
now  there's a president in the - - White House who is
not a "guaranteed veto" for  the legislation, U.S. Rep.
Jerrold - Nadler reintroduced a bill Feb. 12   
- With Nancy Sutley joining Team Obama as
chairwoman of the  Council on - Environmental
Quality, she becomes the first prominent, openly  gay or lesbian to join the  Cabinet.

Yet, there  are the never ending issues that treat gays as second class citizens in which  
we have seen no action:

- Let’s start with Current U.S. LGBT employment discrimination  law:  Employment
discrimination refers to discriminatory employment  practices such as bias in hiring,
promotion, job assignment, termination,  and compensation, and various types of
harassment. In the United States  there is "very little statutory, common law, and case
law establishing  employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation as a legal
wrong."  Some exceptions and alternative legal strategies are available. President  Bill
Clinton's Executive Order 13087 (1998) prohibits discrimination based  on sexual
orientation in the competitive service of the
www.ambiente.us  APRIL | ABRIL 2009

OPEd|President Obama’s Administration has not delivered for  
the The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Community
By Carlos T Mock,  MD

April 1, 2009 | Two months ant seven days and Mr. Obama has
delivered on just about every front except gay  rights.

Attorney  General Signals Shift In Marijuana Policy-March 18, 2009   
Tucked into  the big spending bill just signed by President Obama is a welcome
provision  designed to make affordable birth control available to millions of women  
across the country-March 13, 2009

- Obama  Reversed Limits on Stem Cells Research-March 9, 2009
- Obama Restoring Endangered Species Act Provision-March 3, 2009   
- President Barack Obama last week expressed his commitment to  launching a new
effort to find "a cure for cancer in our time-March 2, 2009   
- Obama’s Backing Raises Hopes for Climate Pact-February 28,  2009
- Obama's energy future policy of renewable forms of energy is  on his budget
- Obama grasps healthcare reform  on his budget   
- Obama signs equal-pay bill named for woman who says she was  denied equal pay
for decades-January 29, 2009
- Barack Obama has made a good, confident start. He quickly  signed orders
.
.
.
.





Fresh-Squeezed Paradise
MIAMI RIVER INN
miamiriverinn.com



.

LGBT/Latino/Hispanic Civil
Rights
unitycoalition.org
.





IMAGEWEBDESIGN
herbsosa.com
.





70's Inspired Purses
GLOSSgear.com
.







AMBIENTE
ONLINE STORE
.






CLICK to SHOP



.

People for the
Ethical Treatment
of Animals
.



APRIL 16-19, 2009
MIAMI LATIN GAY
FILM FESTIVAL
cineflorida.com
.




Miami Beach
Gay Pride
April 18, 2009
.





Fresh-Squeezed Paradise
MIAMI RIVER INN
miamiriverinn.com



.

LGBT/Latino/Hispanic Civil
Rights
unitycoalition.org
.





IMAGEWEBDESIGN
herbsosa.com
.





70's Inspired Purses
GLOSSgear.com
.







AMBIENTE
ONLINE STORE
.






CLICK to SHOP
Love and pride Jewelry



.

People for the
Ethical Treatment
of Animals
.



APRIL 16-19, 2009
MIAMI LATIN GAY
FILM FESTIVAL
cineflorida.com
.




Miami Beach
Gay Pride
April 18, 2009
.





Fresh-Squeezed Paradise
MIAMI RIVER INN
miamiriverinn.com



.

LGBT/Latino/Hispanic Civil
Rights
unitycoalition.org
.





IMAGEWEBDESIGN
herbsosa.com
.





70's Inspired Purses
GLOSSgear.com
.







AMBIENTE
ONLINE STORE
.






CLICK to SHOP



.

People for the
Ethical Treatment
of Animals
.



APRIL 16-19, 2009
MIAMI LATIN GAY
FILM FESTIVAL
cineflorida.com
.




Miami Beach
Gay Pride
April 18, 2009
.





Fresh-Squeezed Paradise
MIAMI RIVER INN
miamiriverinn.com



.

LGBT/Latino/Hispanic Civil
Rights
unitycoalition.org
.





IMAGEWEBDESIGN
herbsosa.com
.





70's Inspired Purses
GLOSSgear.com
.







AMBIENTE
ONLINE STORE
.






CLICK to SHOP
Love and pride Jewelry



.

People for the
Ethical Treatment
of Animals
.



APRIL 16-19, 2009
MIAMI LATIN GAY
FILM FESTIVAL
cineflorida.com
.




Miami Beach
Gay Pride
April 18, 2009
federal civilian  workforce, and federal non-civil service employees may have recourse
under  the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution. Private sector workers may  
have a Title VII action under a quid pro quo sexual harassment theory, a  "hostile work
environment" theory, a sexual stereotyping theory, or others.   Twenty states, the District
of Columbia, and over 140 cities and  counties have enacted such bans. The states
banning sexual orientation  discrimination in private sector employment are California,
Colorado,  Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,  
Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon,  
Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin (the first state to do so,  in 1982).
Five states have laws prohibiting sexual orientation  discrimination in public workplaces
only: Delaware, Indiana, Michigan,  Montana, and Pennsylvania. On November 22, 2007,
Michigan governor Jennifer  Granholm issued an order guarding the rights of
transgender men and women.  She prohibited discrimination of state workers based on
gender identity or  expression. Many of these laws also ban discrimination in other
contexts,  such as housing or public accommodation. A proposed bill to ban anti-gay  
employment discrimination nationwide, known as the Employment  Non-Discrimination
Act (ENDA), has been introduced in the U.S. Congress, but  its prospects of passage
were not believed to be good when there was a  Republican-controlled Congress.
However, the Democratic victory at the 2008  general elections may present a new
opportunity for the bill to pass.   Thirteen states had reformed their state civil rights code
(or  experienced court decisions) to include sexual orientation and gender  identity,
while another seven had amended their civil rights code to only  include sexual
orientation.  Aside from state law, about a hundred  cities in thirty three states had
enacted some type of civil rights  legislation that includes sexual orientation.

- Then there is housing discrimination: this refers to  discrimination against potential or
current tenants by landlords. In the  United States, there is no federal law against such
discrimination on the  basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but at least thirteen
states  and many major cities have enacted laws prohibiting it.   

- Gays in the military—The terrible failure of President  Clinton's “Don’t ask, don’t tell”
policy allowed The Pentagon, which allows  gays to serve as long as they do
.
not reveal their sexual orientation to  dismissed 787 gay men and lesbians last year.    
All we need  is a simple executive order like President Truman made after WWII and
gays  would be integrated in the armed forces.

Our families:

Census | Do we count?  Never mind Massachusetts.  Never mind Connecticut. Never
mind Vermont, or any state with civil  unions. Gay marriage, or any other form of
recognized partnerships for  GLBTs, is still not being accounted for by the federal
government when  they count households

Immigration |  Gay couples should  be allowed to stay together in the United States.      

Adoption |  The vast majority of states no longer deny custody  or visitation to a person
based on sexual orientation. State agencies and  courts now apply a "best interest of
the child" standard to decide these  cases. Under this approach, a person's sexual
orientation cannot be the  basis for ending or limiting parent-child relationships unless
it is  demonstrated that it causes harm to a child. Using this standard, more  than 22
states to date have allowed lesbians and gay men to adopt children  either through
state-run or private adoption agencies. Even though All of  the research to date has
reached the same unequivocal conclusion about gay  parenting: the children of lesbian
and gay parents grow up as successfully  as the children of heterosexual parents. In
fact, not a single study has  found the children of lesbian or gay parents to be
disadvantaged because  of their parents' sexual orientation. Other key findings  include:

- There is no evidence to suggest that lesbians and gay men  are unfit to be parents.
- Home environments with lesbian and gay parents are as  likely to successfully
support a child's development as those with  heterosexual parents.
- Good parenting is not influenced by sexual orientation.  Rather, it is influenced most
profoundly by a parent's ability to create  a loving and nurturing home -- an ability that
does not depend on  whether a parent is gay or straight.
- There is no evidence to suggest that the children of  lesbian and gay parents
.
are less intelligent, suffer from more problems,  are less popular, or have lower self-
esteem than children of  heterosexual parents.
The children of lesbian and gay parents grow up as happy,  healthy and well-adjusted
as the children of heterosexual  parents.

And finally Marriage | In 2003, the U. S. Supreme court  Lawrence v. Texas Sodomy
declared unconstitutional sodomy laws. The majority  opinion, written by Justice
Anthony Kennedy, explicitly reversed Bowers v.  Hardwick. (On June 30, 1986, the
Supreme Court of the United States ruled in  Bowers v. Hardwick, that homosexual
citizens had no constitutional right to  privacy.)  What is significant about this decision is
that under the  common law, the existence of rights of sexual partners are recognized  
through the marriage contract. That is, in common law there is no  stand-alone right to
engage in sexual activity, be they male or female,  adult or minor. But, it is a basic legal
principle under the common and  statutory laws that everything that is not forbidden by
the common and  statutory law is allowed. As sexual acts usually take place in private,
few  cases involving engagement in sodomy and fornication come before the courts,  
and no precedent was established under the common law forbidding  fornication; with
sodomy, the common law is mixed.  This was most  notable in Judge Scalia
dissension:  with this decision, Scalia  concluded, the Court "has largely signed on to
the so-called homosexual  agenda." While Scalia said that he has "nothing against
homosexuals, or any  other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic
means," Scalia  argued that the Court has an obligation to decide cases neutrally. In  
Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, a later case decided by the  Massachusetts
Supreme Judicial Court, held that the Massachusetts  Constitution requires that
marriage be available to homosexual as well as  heterosexual couples.  Now that The
Lawrence decision has made our  relationships “officially” legal—our rights need
protection like those of  any other U. S. citizen—therefore the 14th Amendment to the
constitution  applies fully to homosexuals:  this amendment provides a broad  definition
of citizenship, overruling Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) which  had excluded slaves and
their descendants from possessing Constitutional  rights. The amendment requires
states to provide equal protection under the  law to all persons within their jurisdictions
and was used in the mid-20th  century to dismantle racial segregation in the United
States, as in Brown v.  Board of
.
Education (1954). Its Due Process Clause has been the basis of much  important and
controversial case law regarding privacy rights, abortion (Roe  v. Wade), and other
issues.  This is the only legal compromise for same  sex “civil “marriages—we are
legal citizens of the U. S. of A. and pay taxes  and FICA like every other citizen in the
country.  Until we are allowed  the “civil right” to wed, we will be second class citizens—
we will be  deprived of more than 1,138 federal rights that accompany civil marriage,  
and some additional 300-600 per individual state. That means your  run-of-the-mill-
marriage-license-carrying heterosexual couple has access to  over 1,400 rights,
benefits, and protections that gay and lesbian citizens  are unable to obtain! This is a
clear violation of the 14th amendment to the  U. S. Constitution that provides equal
protection under the law to all  persons regardless of sexual preference or gender
orientation!  Civil  unions are not enough!  In Loving v. Virginia, (1967) where The U.S.  
Supreme Court overturned the convictions in a unanimous decision, dismissing  the
Commonwealth of Virginia's argument that a law forbidding both white and  black
persons from marrying persons of another race, and providing identical  penalties to
white and black violators, could not be construed as racially  discriminatory. The court
ruled that Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute  violated both the Due Process Clause
and the Equal Protection Clause of the  Fourteenth Amendment. In the Court's decision,
Chief Justice Warren wrote:  “Marriage is one of 'the basic civil rights of man,'
fundamental to our very  existence and survival . . . To deny this fundamental freedom on
so  unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these  statutes,
classifications so directly subversive of the principle of  equality at the heart of the
Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all  the State's citizens of liberty without due
process of law.”  

Carlos Mock, MD has published three books and is the Floricanto Press editor for its
GLBT series. He was inducted in the Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame in October of
2007. He grew up middle-class in the suburbs of San Juan, Puerto Rico. His website is:
www.carlostmock.com


CLICK HERE for more by Carlos T. Mock
Copyright © AMBIENTE MAGAZINE. Do not reproduce without citing these sources.
.