January 18, 2015 – Reported by MSNBC.com – If you want to understand the state of the union for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans, you should begin with the new faces in Congress. It’s undeniable President Obama continues to be a true champion of equality—and he’s joined by a bipartisan coalition in both the House and the Senate in fighting for pro-equality measures. But no matter what President Obama says in his remarks about LGBT equality on Tuesday night, you can be sure that many of these new members will have other ideas in mind.
“It’s important read beyond the headlines of progress for marriage equality … The truth is that the equality LGBT people have won in this country is incomplete, new, brittle, and it faces a blistering counterattack on all fronts.”
Take Represenative Jody Hice of Georgia for instance, freshly elected in 2014. Represenative Hice has compared marriage equality to bestiality and incest. He’s compared being LGBT to alcoholism and drug addiction—and has suggested that we, as a community, are “enslave[ed]” by our lifestyle.
That’s just the beginning. Fellow newbie Represenative Glenn Grothman has said loving gay and lesbian couples shouldn’t have access to family and medical leave to care for their loved ones. Representative Cresent Hardy wants to re-instate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. And of course, Senator Ted Cruz wants to introduce every bill he can to dismiss and defame LGBT people and their families.
So when you think about how the LGBT community is doing in this country, it’s important read beyond the headlines of progress for marriage equality in courtrooms from Mississippi to Montana. It’s not sufficient to be satisfied with representations of LGBT characters in television and media. The truth is that the equality LGBT people have won in this country is incomplete, new, brittle, and it faces a blistering counterattack on all fronts…story continues below…