Equality ; Human Rights for Gays

By Gzedit | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), March 14, 2013 | Go to article overview

Equality ; Human Rights for Gays


Gzedit, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


American morality has evolved enormously since the 1950s, when it was a felony to be gay and same-sex couples risked prison. In subsequent decades, tolerance grew. West Virginia revoked its "sodomy" law in the 1970s, and the U.S. Supreme Court voided the last such state laws in 2003.

Today, finally, gays are on the brink of gaining full human rights and acceptance as equal Americans.

In November's election, voters in three states - Maine, Maryland and Washington - approved same-sex marriage, making a total of nine states where it is legal, plus the District of Columbia. This week, Colorado's legislature legalized civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, as about 10 other states have done. The tide of equality is rising.

President Obama wants the Supreme Court to scuttle the Republican- passed Defense of Marriage Act, which limits wedlock to one man and one woman. Former President Bill Clinton, who originally signed DOMA into law in 1996, agrees with Obama. The high court is expected to rule on this issue by June.

Numerous states and cities have expanded their hate crimes laws to protect homosexuals from violent "gay-bashing" attacks - and also expanded their human rights laws to protect gays from being fired from jobs or evicted from apartments, just because of their orientation. We're proud that Charleston's city council took both of those steps. …

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