03 December 2017
The Discrimination People Face
Within society, there has always been some sort of discrimination present, and there might always be some sort of discrimination present at this rate. There has been many government efforts to prevent and end the presence of discrimination, but despite all the efforts it has prevailed and is still continuing today. Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment toward different people due to a category they fall into such as their race or sexual orientation. Overtime discrimination has changed but has remained the same in some aspects. Today there is much discrimination towards gays and lesbians, it is very similar but different to the discrimination African Americans, Latinos, women and other minority groups face in society. This discrimination is similar for both groups as it targets people as individuals and the groups as a whole due to their differences and causes then undue hardship and stress. The difference is purely the reasons why they are the victims of discrimination such as their different races, ethnicities and/or what their sexual orientations are. Discrimination is a fault of a society that needs to be fixed, but it may not be possible.
Discrimination can be traced far back into history. Discrimination was a “thing” long before there was a term to define it. However, more commonly in the past, minorities race and ethnicities were the targets of discrimination rather the gays and lesbians. One of the most common examples is the discrimination towards women, there are many examples throughout history and there are still some now despite efforts to improve it. If you take a look back into history, women were always slaves, laborers, and tools they did not possess the same rights men held such as the freedom to work. African- Americans are also heavily subjected to discrimination, in the past, they were treated only as slaves with no rights or equality, the activist had to spend years fighting an advocating to free slaves and then even more years fighting for their legal rights. Society has the tendency to discriminate, it is an inevitable part of human nature, but it is made worse by our cultures and politics.
Our societies, culture, and politics worsen the discrimination people face. Culture is a big influence as it sets the basis for behavior, beliefs, views, and values. In an article about Culture, Prejudice, Racism and discrimination it states “The way of life of a group of people, including symbols, values, behaviors, artifacts, and other shared aspects, that continually evolves as people share messages and is often the result of a struggle between groups who share different perspectives, interests, and power relationships” (Baldwin, 2018) this struggle can be seen in the form of discrimination. These conflicting views of lead to discrimination to other groups of society due to their culture. Politics are also another big influence that leads to discrimination being a byproduct of our society. Often political parties identify with a certain set of values and belief and those who best identify with the values and beliefs join those groups. Often times the parties can have favor one sort of race, ethnicity, the orientation of another which leads to the party discriminating against those who do not fit into the groups and minorities favor. This also leads to discrimination within companies, industries, and corporations.
Discrimination has been a problem that many people have faced over the years. Activist have fought for years to change this and improve the situation for those at the hand of discrimination. In the past African-Americans faced discrimination when they were prevented from attending the same schools as whites, when they were forced to sit in different sections of buses, and when they were forced to be slaves. In order to create change a lot had to be done by political activist like Martin Luther King Jr. who wanted to see change and be the change. To end slavery there was a war and even slavery wasn’t completely ended and neither was the discrimination of African-Americans. Other minorities have faced similar and the same forms of discrimination. A minorities that have become more prominent in recent years are those who are are members of the LGBTQ Community. These are individuals who face violence, harassment, assault, and abuse. They also face discrimination that straight people and straight couples do not face. Examples would be in medical services, welfare services, educational services, social functions, and the ability to marry. This discrimination is not uncommon and has been observed by many different people who have been at the end of this discrimination.
Discrimination has had many effects on gay and lesbian individuals and couples. There are even some health disparities that are linked to the discrimination gays and lesbians face. In an article about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health it stated, “Discrimination against LGBT persons has been associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide.” (Healthy People, n.d.) which is very alarming. These results of discrimination have long-lasting effects on those who face the violence and victimization because of their sexual orientation. Those who are gay or lesbian are more likely to commit suicide than a heterosexual individual. A study showed 40% of gay, lesbian, bisexual or lesbian youth have contemplated or attempted suicide, 30% of gay youths committed suicide, gay men are six times more likely to commit suicide, and lesbian women are two times more likely to commit suicide. The substance abuse has been shown to be more common in gay and lesbian individuals as ? of the adult gay population suffer from substance abuse, lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to be alcoholics, gay men try a wider variety drugs, and the gay population has the largest use of smoking cigarettes. It has also shown that 65% of the gay and lesbian population face venerable insult and ¼ suffers from physical violence. These statistics are heartbreaking and can be accredited to the discrimination these individuals face their societies.
Additionally, in health care, they face the risk because of a health issues that are not addressed due to the lack of education health care professionals receive and sometimes healthcare professionals are even homophobic. Gays and lesbians make up 10% of the population, so they most definitely need to be able to receive proper health care despite the discrimination and lack of knowledge about their orientation. An example would be a lack of knowledge about the sexually transmitted disease that gay and lesbian individuals can transmit to their partners. These health issues must be addressed because if they go unaddressed, they can lead to medical problems such as cancer.
There has been government action to address these issues in the past. However, there are still many states that allow discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The state of Florida has attempted to pass two discrimination prohibiting bills, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, but both those bills died so they were never passed. The national government has made small strides towards ending this discrimination. In 2009, President Obama passed a law expanding federal hate crimes to include assaulting someone because of the sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2014, Executive Order 13672 was signed which placed sexual orientation and gender identity in the protected categories that require nondiscrimination and affirmative action. Also in 2015, gay marriage was legalized. These have made changes, but there is still discrimination gays and lesbians face in society. The government must ensure equal rights for everybody. In order to do this, the government must start passing more laws, acts, and bills which protect and reform discrimination. These acts can include more education for healthcare professionals, allowing same-sex partners on insurance policies, ending discrimination in the work field, and ending discrimination in schools. Discrimination imposes upon the equality among people and the civil rights they should have access to. A source addressing the end of violence and discrimination for gays and lesbians wrote “All people have an equal right to live free from violence, persecution, discrimination, and stigma. The international human rights law establishes the legal obligations on States to ensure that every person, without discrimination, can enjoy these rights.” (“Ending,” 2015, para. 1) which is exactly true. The United States owes an obligation to every person and citizen to protect and ensure their civil rights. Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment which takes away the equal rights of those who are being discriminated upon. Distraction has been a pattern in our society for many years that has been worsened by culture and politics, but now is the time for the discrimination and pattern of hatred to end. The discrimination gays and lesbians face very closely resembles the discrimination other minorities have faced. Gays and Lesbians make up 10% of our population and must be protected from the discrimination that is practiced. Society needs to be taught, not dismantle and the government needs to make efforts that prohibit dedication to any sort of minority in society. The government has many ways they can take action and begin efforts to end this discrimination. This is the best way they can ensure equal rights for all despite formation efforts.