A Debate Forbids Silence - an essay about discrimination in the GLBT community.

Essay by ellipsis000College, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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Nobody likes to be different. In a society based on conformity, deviations are met with disapproval and sometimes hatred. One group that "deviates" from societal norms is the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender - the GLBT - community. Currently, there are over 1,000 benefits, rights, and protections that federal law affords to married heterosexual couples; these same rights, and hundreds more coming from state legislatures, are not given to homosexual couples simply because they are homosexual. Heterosexuals, by far the ruling majority, have a hard time comprehending the need for equality, as many of them have never had to directly deal with unfair treatment. Homosexual couples and individuals need the same basic rights that heterosexual couples enjoy.

In almost half of the United States and in many cities and towns across the United States, homosexual people are still not protected from discrimination. Whereas African-American, Latino, Asian, and Jewish face dreadful discrimination, they have the possibility of legal recourse.

Homosexuals however, cannot always fight discrimination in the courts.

If a person willingly commits or is accused of committing a crime, that person has certain legal rights and protections. These rights and laws do not necessarily cover unconscious decisions. One such decision concerns homosexuality. While experts are still divided as to what causes homosexuality, more and more evidence is pointing to "natural" causes rather than "nurture" causes. Author Kevin Schattenkirk wrote in an article for the Washington University Daily that "the only choice involved with being gay is when a person decides between living in the closet and hiding behind a facade, or deciding to accept, acknowledge and BE who they are."

There is no clear reason for someone to choose to be homosexual. Many homosexuals live in small, rural communities with very little diversity and even less tolerance for it. Alteration...