Urge the Urge the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and President Obama to pass a LGBT Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
What would be an LGBT Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
An LGBT Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, would be a constitutional amendment to the United States Constitution that would to affirm that people who are LGBT have equal rights under the law.
The text of the LGBT Rights Constitutional Amendment
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
In the United States people of LGBT have no protection that guarantees them their civil rights and protects them from discrimination on account of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) singles out lawfully married same-sex couples for unequal treatment under federal law. This law discriminates in two important ways. First, Section 2 of DOMA purports to allow states to refuse to recognize valid civil marriages of same-sex couples. Second, Section 3 of the law carves all same-sex couples, regardless of their marital status, out of all federal statutes, regulations, and rulings applicable to all other married people—thereby denying them over 1,100 federal benefits and protections.
For example, legally married same-sex couples cannot:
-File their taxes jointly
-Take unpaid leave to care for a sick or injured spouse
-Receive spousal, mother’s and father’s, or surviving spouse benefits under Social Security
-Receive equal family health and pension benefits as federal civilian employees
Since DOMA’s passage in 1996, five states and the District of Columbia have provided equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, and two other jurisdictions recognize marriages of same-sex couples celebrated in other states and abroad. Thousands of couples have married since Massachusetts issued marriage licenses in 2004. Same-sex couples may marry in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. California recognizes (the more than 18,000) same-sex marriages performed in California before the passage of Proposition 8. New York and Maryland recognize same-sex marriages celebrated in other states, but do not grant civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Because of DOMA, the federal government is not honoring their equal obligations under state law.
Students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) are subject to pervasive discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence, and have been deprived of equal educational opportunities, in schools in every part of our nation. Numerous social science studies demonstrate that discrimination at school has contributed to high rates of absenteeism, dropout, adverse health consequences and academic under achievement among LGBT youth. When left unchecked, such discrimination can lead, and has led to, dangerous situations for young people.
Federal statutory protections expressly address discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex and disability. Unfortunately, federal civil rights laws do not expressly protect students from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. As a result, students and parents have limited legal recourse to redress for this type of discrimination.
Qualified, hardworking Americans are denied job opportunities, fired or otherwise discriminated against just because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). There is no federal law that consistently protects LGBT individuals from employment discrimination; it remains legal in 29 states to discriminate based on sexual orientation, and in 37 states to do so based on gender identity or expression. As a result, LGBT people face serious discrimination in employment, including being fired, being denied a promotion, and experiencing harassment on the job.
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.
Under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents may sponsor their spouses (and other immediate family members) for immigration purposes. But same-sex partners of U.S. citizens and permanent residents are not considered “spouses,” and their partners cannot sponsor them for family-based immigration. Consequently, many same-sex, bi-national couples are kept apart or torn apart.
In the United States, people of LGBT are not allowed to adopt children. An Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute study found that one-third of child welfare agencies in the United States currently reject gay, lesbian, and bisexual applicants.
The practice of prohibiting applicants from becoming foster parents or adopting children solely on the basis of sexual orientation or marital status has resulted in reducing the number of qualified adoptive and foster parents overall and denying gay, lesbian, bisexual, and unmarried relatives the opportunity to become foster parents for their own kin, including grandchildren, or to adopt their own kin, including grandchildren, from foster care.
In the military, openly lesbian and gay members of the US military were previously subjected to the US's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. However, on December 18, 2010, The U. S. Senate voted 65-31 in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 permitting homosexual men and women to serve openly in the armed forces, to take effect 60 days after certification by the President, Secretary, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. President Barack Obama signed the repeal on December 22, 2010. As of June 2011, certification has not occurred and it is still the policy of all branches of the US military to discharge individuals under the provisions of DADT.
Tax Parity Discrimination
Although employer-provided health coverage for different-sex spouses is excluded from an employee’s gross income, domestic partner benefits are not. As a result, an employee who elects domestic partner coverage pays more income and payroll tax than a similarly-situated employee with a different-sex spouse. Moreover, because of this inequitable treatment, employers who offer benefits to domestic partners face the administrative burden of calculating taxes separately, and they also pay additional payroll taxes.
Family and Medical Leave Act Discrimination
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 grants legally married spouses up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work to care for a seriously ill spouse, parent or child. However, the law does not cover same-sex partners or spouses, making it impossible for some employees to be with their loved ones during times of medical need. This inequity harms the competitiveness of the American workforce by forcing employees to choose between caring for a partner or spouse and keeping a job.
Domestic Partnership Benefits Discrimination
Benefits, such as health insurance and retirement savings, are a significant portion of employee compensation. Although the federal government—the nation’s largest civilian employer—offers attractive family benefits to employees with different-sex spouses, it does not offer the same benefits to lesbian and gay workers with partners. As a result, these employees do not receive equal pay for their equal contributions, and the government cannot keep pace with leading private-sector employers—including many federal contactors—in recruiting and retaining top talent.
By Enacting a Constitutional Amendment to the United States Constititution it would guarantee of LGBT their civil rights and give them protection from being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
What can you do to get the LGBT Rights Amendment passed to the United States Constitution?
Please write to and/or call your U.S. Representatives and Senators and ask them to sponsored this legislation and vote yes when this bill comes before committee and the floor. In addition, please write to and/or call President Obama ask them him to sign it into law and send it to the states for ratification.